Belgium welcomes peace deal for eastern DR Congo

Former colonial power Belgium on Sunday welcomed a regional deal aimed at bringing peace and stability to long troubled eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

"This agreement provides an excellent working basis to relaunch the joint efforts of the DRC, the region and the international community towards a longterm solution to the crisis in the Congolese east," said Foreign Minister Didier Reynders.

The deal was signed by 11 nations in the Great Lakes region -- including those accused of stoking trouble by backing rebel groups -- at a ceremony in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in the presence of UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

Reynders in his statement thanked Ban for his "personal involvement" and urged the quick nomination of a special envoy.

The accord also plans to reinforce a UN-led mission to combat rebels after years of unrest.

Reynders said Belgium was ready to back all the efforts "notably through an active participation and contribution to the follow-up mechanisms."