Afwerki’s Cairo Visit Highlights Historic Relations Between Egypt and Eritrea

President Isaias Afwerki's visit to Cairo is a new link in the process of distinguished Egypt Eritrea relations
President Isaias Afwerki’s recent visit to Cairo brings to light the distinguished history of relations between the two countries that was dating back to the 1950s. (Photo: MENA via AP)


The visit of Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki to Cairo is a new link in the process of distinguished relations between Egypt and Eritrea, in light of the historical ties between the two countries.

The visit, which comes at a time of strong Egyptian return to the African scene is taking place, brings to light the history of relations between the two countries, dating back to the 1950s.

Egypt has played a major role in supporting and endorsing the Eritrean Revolution from its inception to the completion of the Eritrean National Independence project. Egypt was a refuge for refugees from national leaders of Eritrea, and a kiss for Eritrean students, where Cairo witnessed the founding of the first Eritrean student union in 1952. Cairo was also the venue for the establishment of the Eritrean Liberation Front in July 1960.

After the start of the revolution, Egypt was one of the first countries to support and provided it with various kinds of political, material and educational assistance to the Eritrean people until independence in 1991.

In addition, the two countries have strong ties through some of their mechanisms and other States, such as the African Union, COMESA and the Nile Basin states, as well as the mechanisms of the Arab League mechanisms in which Eritrea participates as an observer.

Egyptian diplomacy has played a prominent role in containing the repercussions of the conflict that erupted between Eritrea and Ethiopia in 1998-2000, when Egypt, which was the head of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), sought to settle the conflict and support peace efforts between the two countries.

This is President Afewerki’s third visit to Cairo since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took power, and it is the 23rd time he visited Egypt since he took office in 1993, his last visit in November 2016.

Afwerki was the first African president to visit Cairo after the inauguration of President Al-Sisi in June 2014, a ceremony in which Afwerki also participated, which is an indication of the strength of relations between the two countries.

President Isaias Afwerki Egypt visit
(Photo: MENA via AP)

The talks between Sisi and Afwerki focused on ways of developing bilateral relations between the two countries, activating joint cooperation in various fields and agriculture, exploitation of livestock and fishery resources, infrastructure, trade, culture, education and health, and confirmation of the continuation of technical support programs provided to Eritrea through the Egyptian Agency for Partnership and Development, which was founded in 2014.

It is also expected to address developments on the African arena and in the Horn of Africa region, and to examine the challenges facing the region and the state of the African continent as part of efforts to achieve peace and stability and the principle of non-interference in the affairs of other countries.

The talks touched on ways to strengthen Egyptian-Eritrean relations in various fields of development and security. It was agreed to exchange visits by delegations with a view to activating existing cooperation frameworks and implementing joint projects.

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The meeting also witnessed the examination of regional developments, and both sides agreed to continue their intensive coordination on all issues related to the current regional situation in an effort to strengthen security and stability in the region, particularly in the light of the importance of the Horn of Africa and Eritrea’s role and its reflections on the security of the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandeb area.

* Software translation