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Eritrea welcomes Yemen’s mediation effort with Sudan, Ethiopia

Isayas_Afewerki-2.jpgSANAA, Dec 11, 2004 (Yemeni TV) — The Following is the text of speech made by Eritrean President Isayas Afewerki yesterday at a press conference in Sanaa :

In this occasion, I would wish to thank His Excellency President Ali Abdallah Salih for offering this call. This initiative is a blessed and serious initiative to create a suitable and new environment for the future relations.

Agreements reached

As pointed out earlier by my brother the president, we have discussed all the issues regarding bilateral as well as regional and international issues.

I can say that we had similar opinion on all issues. The practical steps that we took in all agreements, whether in creating a joint fishing company, cooperation in various sectors and the eight documents which covers various fields which we signed, is considered to a big development. I can also say that we have benefited from the past experience and we were able to overcome all obstacles. However, even though there has been some minor obstacles here and there, these has also been overcome making us reach where we are now.

I can say that our situation is now better and the future is bright for both Yemen and Eritrea, because our understanding in bilateral relations as well as our awareness of the fast changing regional and international situations are strong than it used to be in the past. Our readiness and the willingness to implement projects which were agreed upon is also strong, and I hope we will achieve this because the bilateral relations and the regional situation compels us to play a clear role in creating secure environment to implement the projects that we agreed upon – and whether these projects are in the form of investment, trade or are cooperation in various fields, will bring about stability in this region, which is a fundamental issue. Regional and international situation as well as the pressing internal needs in our countries forces us to work seriously as well as cooperate in the fields of security not only between Yemen and Eritrea but with all the countries in this region.

Eritrea’s position in tripartite relations

As I have confirmed to our brothers Eritrea’s position on the regional relations as well as the tripartite relations between Yemen, Sudan and Ethiopia, we will never think or believe that the relation between these countries is an axis that targets Eritrea.

There could be some statements which are made by some officials in some countries such as Yemen and Ethiopia that this is an axis and that there is too much of unbridled imaginations in its treaties, but we have not reacted to such statements. And all our hopes were that any cooperation between countries in this region is a cooperation which serves the interests of the people and nations in this region and guarantees the stability of the region, and there is no need for us to be irritated by such agreements.

I would like to pay attribute to my brother President Ali Abdallah Salih’s stand which made the tripartite meeting between Ethiopia, Yemen and Sudan not overstep the cooperation limit between this countries, and will not target any other side whether Eritrea or any other country in this region.

Yemeni president’s mediation effort with Ethiopia, Sudan

The issues raised by brother Ali Abdallah were useful. Among the issues which we discussed, as previously mentioned by President Ali Abdallah, he will convey Yemen’s message to brothers in Khartoum and Addis Ababa.

Law is what governs relations between countries. Respect and sovereignty of law are above everything. The will, readiness, resources and capability might all be available, but reaping the benefits of all these can only be achieved under the law.

We have no difference with Sudan and Ethiopia. And the boarder difference with Ethiopia have been resolved through the agreements which we signed in Algeria. And in accordance with the agreements, a court or a commission was set up to resolve this issue in 2000. And in April 2002 the commission issued a compulsory and final resolution in accordance with the agreement signed in Algeria in 2000. Ethiopia was hesitant in accepting the resolution and rejected the court’s ruling.

Eritrea says there is no difference, and the requirement and the fundamental need to overcome the difference is to respect the law and agreements as well as implementing it. The differences between Eritrea and Ethiopia is this pending issue [of boarder dispute] which must be resolved.

I thank brother Ali Abdallah Salih for this effort, and that he will take the Yemeni initiative and will advice brothers in Ethiopia to be committed to the international agreements which they have signed and accept the resolutions which they have promised to remain committed to the agreements and help the international community in implementing this agreements and demarcate the boarder.

Regarding Sudan, and I don’t want to take much of your time by talking about the Sudanese problems – Sudan is in dialogue with [Sudan People Liberation] Movement in the south in Kenyan town of Naivasha. There is also dialogue with the Darfur [rebels] which is expected to resume in Abuja Nigeria today, and we wish our Sudanese brothers all the best in resolving their internal problems and become part of this region as well as part of this cooperation and mechanism aimed at bringing about stability in this region.

To conclude, God willing, I wish to say that this historic relation between Eritrea and Yemen will contribute in creating a conducive environment in this region.

Once again I thank brother Ali Abdallah Salih, the president of Yemen, for taking this initiative and wish him the best in his future efforts to create a conducive regional environment, which will guarantee stability and prevent any catastrophe and terrorism, which will in turn create a more conducive environment for economic cooperation and as well create a strong [political] bloc in the Horn of Africa and as well as in south of the Arab peninsula.

Material from the BBC Monitoring Service

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