Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Eritrea does not allow any foreign base in its territory, President Isaias underscores

In an interview with the Beirut-based Al-Menar Television today, President Isaias Afwerki underscored that Eritrea does not allow any foreign base in its territory, and that the rumors being disseminated are totally unfounded and defamatory.

In the interview he gave in connection with the 18th Anniversary of Independence Day, the President stated that the reason why Eritrea did not so far allow any foreign party to establish a base is because such a stance is its own independent political choice, and that this is not something to be given or deprived by others. In this regard, President Isaias pointed out that Eritrea is not in need of a foreign base, be it from Iran, Israel or any other party, and that the rumor disseminated is but concocted by western intelligence networks for other objectives.

Replying to a question regarding the Sudanese issue and Eritrea's role, he stated that the stability of Sudan has positive correlation with Eritrea's stability, and that this is our strategic choice. Noting that Sudanese issues have been complicated due to external interference and are being internationalized, President Isaias underlined that the indictment against President Omar Hassan Al-Beshir by the so-called International Criminal Court has not only further aggravated the complication but also targets the Sudanese people and the country's stability, and hence Eritrea's stability and that of the region. He went on to indicate that Eritrea has taken a clear stand on the issue and is obliged to oppose it.

The President explained that non-interference in internal affairs has long been Eritrea's political culture, and its relentless endeavors to enable both the Sudanese and Somali peoples resolve their issues themselves emanates from this fundamental principle. External interference and internationalizing issues only aggravate instability, he added.

In detailed briefings he gave on the Somali issue, President Isaias recalled that the relative peace that surfaced in 2006 was aborted through invasion and acts of interference, and that any so-called "government" imposed from the outside has no ground at all and would not bring any solution. He further emphasized that recognizing an illegal 'government' will never achieve a lasting solution.

As regards piracy, the President noted that the phenomenon is the outcome of the prevailing vacuum in Somalia, and expressed conviction that as long as the reconstitution of Somalia is not realized and a central government with the participation of all Somali forces is not formed, the ensuing piracy would not come to an end.

Indicating that stability in the Red Sea and the Horn region is strategically linked, President Isaias pointed out that complementarities in the domain of security on the part of the countries of the region is decisive in this regard. Hence, it is imperative for these countries to set up a regional force in a coordinated manner and free from external interference so as to ensure peace and stability in the region.

Regarding Eritrea's relations with the United States, the President explained that the Americans pursue a policy of domination and monopoly and that the attempts they continue to make to balkanize Africa in a bid to impose their policies attest to this fact. In this connection, he stated that looking only at bits and not the whole scenario serves no purpose.

The lobby made by the previous US Administration to influence the present one with a view to linking Eritrea with terrorism and placing it in list of 'states sponsoring terrorism' is a concrete instance of committing error to error, and thereby push the latter fall into trap. Moreover, President Isaias underscored that Eritrea is not unduly concerned by the issue.

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