Thursday 23 January 2020
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africanews - 8 days ago

Ethio-Eritrea peace deal: Asmara cautions Saudi Minister to stick to facts

Eritrea officially protested what it says was a overstatement of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the historic peace deal signed in July 2018. A statement published by the Ministry of Information said Saudi’s Minister of State for Africa in an interview made inaccurate allusions over the role of the Middle East giant in the Asmara agreement. Eritrea president and Ethiopian Prime Minister signed the deal that ended two decades of a “no peace – no war” deadlock between the two neighbours. The PM’s role in pushing for the deal and reforms back home earned him the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. Gulf States – Saudi and the United Arab Emirates, UAE, have been seen as key international backers for the peace deal. Afwerki and Abiy after Asmara signing also signed two follow-up deals in the two countries after they were awarded gold medals for their respective roles in the peace process. Eritrea replies Saudi’s Minister of Africa: Full Statement In a long interview with Asharq al-Awsat (Thursday, 9th January English and Arabic editions), on the strategic importance of the Council of Arab and African States bordering the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, the Saudi Minister of State for Africa digresses from the central theme to speak about resolution of conflicts in Africa in a rather deprecating tone. In this context, the official alludes to Saudi Arabia’s “efforts to resolve differences between brothers in Africa”. He then proceeds to assert: “the Kingdom has harnessed its pioneering Islamic role in this regard… the first result of those was the historic peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea”. This description is grossly at variance with the genesis and facts of the historic agreement. And while we recognize the goodwill of our international partners, a condescending narrative that belittles Africa and its achievements is not only improper but also fraught with blighting the image of the Kingdom. Ministry of Information Asmara, 13 January 2020


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