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‏Eritrea’s prez thanks Kuwait, comments on Iraq, Ethiopia, Sudan


‏ KUWAIT, Oct 5 (KUNA) -- President of Eritrea Isaias Afworki commended the ‏  

‏Eritrean-Kuwaiti relations, saying that they are based on historic background ‏  

‏dating back 40 years.‏  

‏ In a press conference held at Bayan Palace Monday, the president said that ‏  

‏"Kuwait has supported Eritrea's right to determine own fate at international ‏  

‏conventions since the beginning of the armed conflict in 1961 up to its ‏  

‏independence in 1990."‏  

‏ "Kuwait's support has continued at different levels, including ‏  

‏developmental and investment projects," he continued.‏  

‏ He noted that the aim of his visit is "to consolidate strategic relations ‏  

‏and effective cooperation between the two sides so as to create a suitable ‏  

‏atmosphere for investment, development and trade between the two countries."‏  

‏ The Eritrean President went on to say that there are several development ‏  

‏and infrastructure projects underway in cooperation with the Kuwait Fund for ‏  

‏Arab Economic Development (KFAED) and others still being studied, as well as ‏  

‏relations with the Kuwaiti Chamber of Commerce and Industry.‏  

‏ Despite the small size of Eritrea and the poverty it suffers, Afworki said ‏  

‏that what has been achieved over the last ten years is greater than any ‏  

‏achievement made by other African countries.‏  

‏ "The government is currently seeking to provide the necessary ‏  

‏infrastructure to create an attracting atmosphere for investors," he said.‏  

‏ The number of KFAED loans to Eritrea number four at a total cost of KD 20.8 ‏  

‏million, as well a grant of KD 298,000. ‏    

‏-- In response to a question regarding accusations that Eritrea ‏  

‏interferes in the internal affairs of Sudan, Yemen and Ethiopia, and trains ‏  

‏and houses insurgents, Afworki said, "These countries must resolve their ‏  

‏internal affairs without exporting them abroad."‏  

‏ He invited the media, as well as neutral and objective bodies to visit ‏  

‏Eritrea to see for themselves that it is free from such opposition training ‏  

‏camps and Israeli bases, adding that "these camps do not exist and we receive ‏  

‏all of this information from the media."‏  

‏ He described these accusations as "being a figment of the imagination of ‏  

‏many," wondering at the same time whether the aim behind them is "to instigate ‏  

‏problems to cover up issues or to cause confusion?"‏  

‏ Regarding Eritrean-Ethiopian relations, the president said that there are ‏  

‏tensions due to Ethiopia's rejection of the final and committing verdict of ‏  

‏the court established to resolve the conflict between the two countries, ‏  

‏stressing that "the issue have been settled."‏  

‏ As for Eritrea's membership in the Arab League, he said that "despite many ‏  

‏reservations as to the Arab League, we have reached a compromise in the form ‏  

‏of participating as an observing member," adding that "there is no use in ‏  

‏joining the Arab League at a time when many discontent members are leaving it.‏  

‏- On Iraq, he stressed that "there is no debate over the fact that ‏  

‏ousting the former Iraqi regime was the right step for achieving regional ‏  

‏stability, but what took place following this action is due to miscalculations ‏  

‏and lack of understanding as to the Iraqi nature."‏  

‏ Afworki said, in his personal opinion "what is important is correcting the ‏  

‏mistakes that have taken place and not whether or not the elections are held ‏  

‏on time," adding that "the elections should not be looked at in terms of ‏  

‏timing, as it is a matter of transition for the return of stability to Iraq."‏  

‏ The Eritrean President Isaias Afworki had arrived in Kuwait on Saturday on ‏  

‏a four-day visit during which he met with the Representative of His Highness ‏  

‏the Amir, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, as ‏  

‏well as the Minister of Energy Sheikh Ahmad Fahd Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.‏  

‏ He also met with Acting Director-General of KFAED Abdul-Wahab Al-Bader, ‏  

‏Board Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ali Thnayan Al-Ghanim ‏  

‏and the acting chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee MP ‏  

‏Marzouk Al-Hubaini. (end)‏  

‏ bs.ema‏  

‏KUNA 041531 Oct 04NNNN‏