44th issue of Eri-News
H.E. President Isaias Afwerki meeting Chinese delegation
The Press Section of the Permanent Mission of the State of Eritrea to the AU and UNECA has released its 44th newsletter.
Visit here to read the previous newsletter.
Articles in this issue:
- President Isaias Afwerki Received Chinese Delegation
- Eritrean Delegation Attended the Third Africa-India Forum Summit
- Eritrea and Finland Signed Agreement of Cooperation in Higher Education
- Eritrea to Change Nakfa Currency Notes
- President Isaias Sent Congratulatory Message to the New President of Tanzania
- Eritrea’s Regional Policy Anchored on the Promotion of a Safe and Cooperative Neighbourhood
- Conference on the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in Eritrea
- Forum on Social Dialogue held in Asmara
- Fly Dubai Commenced Regular Flights to Asmara
- Eritrean Youth Cyclists Shine at Tour de Faso 2015
- Samuel Goitom Won COMAR Marathon in Tunisia
President Isaias Afwerki Received Chinese Delegation
President Isaias Afwerki received on November 6, a delegation of the People’s Republic of China led by Mr. Liu Jie, Vice-Governor of Sichuan Provincial People’s Government.
President Isaias referred to the longstanding warm ties that exist between the two countries and underlined the reservoir of good will as well as the conducive climate that exists for Chinese companies to actively participate in major investment ventures in the country.
Mr. Liu Jie, for his part, paid tribute to the deep and expanding ties between the People’s Republic of China and Eritrea. The Vice Governor stated that Chinese companies are prepared to invest in physical infrastructure and particularly in mining, the construction of dams and bridges as well as in agricultural
In addition, the Chinese delegation met with Mr. Hagos Ghebrehiwet, Head of PFDJ Economic Affairs, Mr. Berhane Habtemariam, the Minister of Finance and Mr. Abraha Asfaha, the Minister of Public Works to assess progress of investments already underway and explore concrete prospects for future engagement.
Mr. Liu also met with the Governor of the Central Region, Major General Romodan Awilyay, for discussions on specific areas of cooperation.
An agreement for the purchase and transfer of Sunridge Gold Corporation’s 60% share of the Asmara Mining Project to the Sichuan Road Bridge Mining (SRBM) was signed during the visit of the Chinese Delegation. The Eritrea National Mining Corporation (ENAMCO) owns the remaining 40% equity in the venture.
Eritrea’s Regional Policy Anchored on the Promotion of a Safe and Cooperative Neighbourhood
The purpose of the meeting was to bring together experts of the region in order to discuss and suggest
solutions to the conflicts in Somalia, South Sudan and strengthen ties among the countries in the region. The main issues discussed at this meeting were;
♦ Eritrea: Strengthening regional ties;
♦ The war in South Sudan and regional efforts for peace;
♦ The Somalia peace process – time for paradigm shift;
♦ Transnational terrorism – a threat for the whole of East Africa; and
♦ Migration within the region and its meaning for security.
Ambassador Araya Desta, who was the first speaker stressed on Eritrea’s regional policy and described it
as anchored on the promotion of a safe and cooperative neighbourhood. He further elaborated that this
policy has emanated from compelling economic, political and security considerations.
Eritrea joined IGADD in 1994 soon after its formal independence. Eritrea played an active part in the efforts
to revitalize and expand the organization, with the aim to render it an important tool for regional integration
leading to the establishing of InterGovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD). Eritrea’s pivotal contributions in the articulation of the Declaration of Principles to resolve the conflict in Sudan that IGAD enunciated in 1994 is a matter of historical record.
In the years that followed, Eritrea with its partners in IGAD was constructively involved in the process that
eventually led to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Government of
Sudan and South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).
Ambassador Araya further stressed that strengthening Regional Ties is a pre-requisite to peace and
security among neighboring countries so that they would implement sincere cooperation towards free
movement of people and goods and above all cooperate in challenging and fighting poverty and underdevelopment.
The political imperative is equally evident as almost invariably in all these countries, the same linguistic
and ethnic groups straddle the State boundaries and are bound by deep historical ties as well as cultural
Eritrea’s catalytic role in bringing about an agreement between the central Government of Sudan and
the eastern opposition movements which resulted in the Asmara Peace Accord as well as its multiple joint
efforts with other regional countries – Chad, Libya, and Qatar – to contribute for the Sudanese solution to
the problems in Darfur all fit into its efforts to ensure safe and cooperative neighbourhood.
It is also important to note that Eritrea continued to promote, in its modest capacity and principally through the regional forum of IGAD, an enduring solution to the crisis in Somalia.
However, in 2007 IGAD endorsed Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia, in contravention to its own earlier decisions and UNSC resolution 1725 (2006) that prohibited neighbouring countries from intervening in Somalia. This decision compelled Eritrea to suspend its participation from IGAD meetings. In 2011, Eritrea informed the Executive Secretary of IGAD that it has reactivated its participation in IGAD. However, Ethiopia singlehandedly and illegally has blocked, to date, Eritrea’s participation in the organization.
In the past 24 years, and despite some challenges, Eritrea’s relations with its immediate neighbours and countries of the region–Djibouti, Sudan, South Sudan, Egypt, Chad, Kenya, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, UAE, Qatar, Uganda… have been generally good.
In the instance in which it was involved in unfortunate confrontations – big or small – with Yemen, Ethiopia and Djibouti, the new territorial claims and push to redraw the colonial boundaries did not emanate
from Eritrea. In all these cases too, Eritrea has from the outset argued for the supremacy of international
law; for resorting to arbitral instruments, consistent with article 33 and 95 of the UN Charter.
Eritrea advocated a peaceful resolution of the territorial dispute with Yemen, Ethiopia and Djibouti and
has acted honorably and in good faith. Thus,
♦ Eritrea accepted the verdict of the EritreaYemen Arbitration Commission without conditions or reservations and implemented it promptly.
♦ Eritrea is fully and in good faith engaged in the Qatari mediation to resolve the problem with Djibouti peacefully.
♦ Eritrea has accepted the final and binding decisions of the EEBC on delimitation and demarcation of the common border with Ethiopia.
♦ It has also accepted the decision of the EritreaEthiopia Arbitration Commission without much ado.
Ambassador Araya further emphasized that friendly relations between states can be anchored only on the rule of law, respect for the UN Charter, especially the principles of equality, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of states.
Eritrea has always been ready to engage in political dialogue with the view to fostering good neighborly and cooperative relations with its neighbours because of its vision for a zone of peace, stability and cooperative relations in the Horn of Africa.
Yet, dialogue and confidence-building efforts do not thrive in a vacuum but on a wellspring of good faith and a commitment to the rule of law.
Ethiopia’s acceptance of all the decisions of the EEBC without any reservations, and then the faithful
and expeditious implementation of the decisions by withdrawing its soldiers from Eritrea’s sovereign territories will lead to confidence-building and dialogue. Any other option is a non-starter.
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