The U.S. and USSR discussed relief requirements and the prospects for a political solution to Ethiopia's internal conflict. They welcome the Ethiopian government's agreement to permit relief food to enter northern Ethiopia through the Port of Massawa under a UN sponsored relief effort, and they believe that such operations would not compromise the unity and territorial integrity of Ethiopia. They also welcomed the agreement expressed by the Ethiopian government to have UN representatives present in the course of the negotiations between the Ethiopian government and the Eritreans.
In addition, to deal with the growing problems of starvation, the U.S. and the USSR are prepared to work together and combine their assets. U.S. food will be transported on Soviet aircraft to demonstrate our joint commitment to responding to this tragic humanitarian problem.
Recognizing the continuing political and military conflicts that exacerbate the problems of starvation and recognizing also the lack of momentum on peace talks, the U.S. and USSR will support an international conference of governments under the auspices of the UN on settlement of conflict situations in the Horn of Africa.
Note: The joint statement was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary but was not issued as a White House press release.