BY TESFANEWS *
President Isaias Afwerki met and held talks today at the State House with Russian delegation headed by President Putin’s Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.
At the meeting, President Isaias underlined Eritrea’s readiness to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation in all sectors.
Mr. Mikhail L. Bogdanov on his part commended the bold initiative Eritrea took to bring peace and stability in the Horn of Africa and expressed his country’s readiness to develop trade and investment cooperation with the Horn African countries in general and with Eritrea in particular.
A statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry states that besides the bilateral cooperation, the two sides also discussed extensively on the removal of the anti-Eritrea sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council.
“At the talks, [they] focused on a range of issues related to further development of the Russian-Eritrean mutually beneficial cooperation in trade, economic and humanitarian spheres with an emphasis on promising joint projects on the development of mineral resources, finance, education, and personnel training,” the Ministry adds.
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The two sides reaffirmed their willingness to deepen political dialogue and to coordinate their foreign policies on the basis of fundamental principles of international law and similar positions of the two countries on topical international issues.
The meeting was attended by Mr. Osman Saleh, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Presidential Adviser Mr. Yemane Gebreab and Mr. Amin Hassan, Director of the Office of the President on the Eritrean side and Mr. Azim A. Yarakhmedov, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Russian federation in the State of Eritrea and Mr. Oleg B. Ozerov, Deputy Director of the Department of Africa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia on the Russian side.
In 2009, the UN Security Council imposed international sanctions against Eritrea through resolution 1907, after accusing Eritrea of providing “political, logistical and financial support to the Somali armed movements, not recognizing the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, and not withdrawing its forces from its common border with Djibouti, especially in Ras Dumiera and the island of Dumiera.”
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In 2011, the sanctions were toughened after Eritrea was falsely accused of planning a terror attack against the African Union summit that was held in Addis-Ababa.
However, in its four previous reports, the UN Monitoring Group concludes that it has found no evidence whatsoever of Eritrean support for Al-Shabab and hence recommended the Security Council end its current sanctions regime on the country.
The U.S. and its allies (UK and France), however, disregard the recommendation with an apparent aim of maintaining the illegal sanctions by moving the goalpost from “Al-Shabaab” to other internal affairs of the country.
The UN Security Council will discuss Eritrea sanction next month with China as President of the Security Council for the month of November.