Eritrean prez on renewed relations with Yemen & Horn peace
Dec 11, 2004
Text of speech
made by President Isayas Afewerki at a press conference in Sanaa, broadcast by
Yemeni TV on 10 December
President Isayas Afewerki] 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.
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.
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
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.
president's mediation effort with Ethiopia, Sudan
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
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
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.
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.
of Yemen TV, Sanaa, in Arabic via BBC Monitoring 1800 gmt 10 Dec