This is the first official visit of an Eritrean leader to Russia.
President Isaias Afwerki and President Vladimir Putin held an extensive discussion in the Kremlin in the mid-afternoon hours of today on the enhancement of bilateral ties as well as on international issues and developments of interest to the two countries.
President Putin welcoming President Isaias Afwerki and his delegation underlined that President Isaias’ first official visit to Russian Federation will contribute highly to the development of bilateral ties.
President Putin further noted that the visit was occurring at an auspicious time of Eritrea’s 32nd Independence Day Anniversary and 30 years of formal diplomatic ties.
President Putin also expressed full satisfaction at the progress and development of the bilateral ties between the two countries and extended an invitation to President Isaias to participate in the Second Russia-Africa Summit that the Russian Federation will host in July this year.
President Isaias thanked President Putin for the invitation to visit the Russian Federation and the warm welcome extended to him and his delegation, further stating that the current visit reflects the high-level partnership and consultation, occurring as it does after the visit of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Eritrea and subsequent visit of Eritrea’s senior delegation to Russia.
President Isaias further noted that the uni-polar world order has endangered the spiral of crises and destruction in the world and urged Russia to play its appropriate role in peace and justice aspiring peoples to ascertain transition to civilized international order which was not an option but a historical responsibility.
The meeting was attended on Eritrea’s side by Mr. Osman Saleh, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zemede Tekle, Commissioner of Culture and Sports, and Mr. Petros Tsegay, Eritrea’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation, and on the Russian Federation side by Mr. Yuri Ushakov, Foreign Policy Counselor, Mr. Dimitry Peskov, Press Secretary and Mr. Rudenko Andrei, Deputy Foreign Minister.
In the morning hours of today, President Isaias laid a wreath at the Tomb of the unknown martyr at Red Square in Moscow. [MoI Eritrea]
Meeting with President of Eritrea Isaias Afwerki
(President of Russia Vladimir Putin): Mr President, colleagues, and friends, we are glad to welcome you to Russia.
This is your first official visit to our country. Mr. President, Eritrea has recently marked 30 years of its independence. This was when our two countries established diplomatic relations too. Allow me to congratulate you on this occasion and thank you for all the efforts to promote and strengthen relations between our countries over all these years that you have been leading your country.
Of course, trade and economic relations deserve our primary attention. I would like to note that we have a lot of potential in many areas, and we will discuss them today.
We have also expanded our political ties. Earlier this year, you received our foreign minister [Sergei Lavrov]. I would like to thank you for that. We work together within the United Nations and have been quite effective in promoting our humanitarian ties. Several dozen students from Eritrea completed their studies in the Russian Federation, and the process carries on.
The agenda for today’s meeting includes the signing of several intergovernmental agreements. I hope that our colleagues have done their job so that we can do it.
As you know, this year Russia will be hosting the second Russia-Africa Summit. Mr President, you are among those invited to attend it. I do hope that you will have the opportunity to do that. We are delighted to have you here, Mr. President, with your delegation, and I am certain that our talks today will be a success and help the Russian Federation and Eritrea step up their relations.
Welcome, Mr. President.