President Issias Aferwerki Vs. Al Jazeera; February 2010

Read Time:19 Minute, 11 Second

Pres. Issias;
This is nonsensical, this is a mockery, this is a joke.

Ethiopia…?

Pres. Issias;
This is a joke. I do not want to blame anyone for what is happening or
what is being said here or there. What are the evidences? How can you
explain the fact that Eritrea supports this or that radical Islamist…

Dutton;
Are you using Somalia as a battlefield to fight Ethiopia?

It is not a battlefield with Ethiopia. This border issue was a
senseless conflict instigated by the United States in the first place.
And we went to arbitration and arbitration was done almost eight years
now, in 2002. That decision is now blocked by the United States; it is
not blocked by Ethiopia. Ethiopia does not have the resources and the
means to block any decision of arbitration and implementation.
It is a coverup for the failure of the misguided policies of the
United States in the Horn of Africa for the last twenty years.

Dutton;
So, if Ethiopia were to withdraw from Badme, that is the border town
that you are referring to, if they were to withdraw from there, then
would you take this country off the war footing?

Pres. Issias;
We don’t have any problems with Ethiopia; we have never had a problem
with Ethiopia. We have worked with its people for almost two decades
to overthrow a government in Ethiopia, and we want to see a
relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia based on mutual respect and
commonalities of interests and we have worked for that for decades.

Now we are talking about the misguided policy of the United States
which creates crisis here, political problems there and its attempts
to micro-manage these problems.

Dutton;
Can you say that that is your relationship with Ethiopia? Please
explain to me what your relationship is with Sudan because you have
alleged connections with the GEM and the SLA?

Pres. Issias;
This is again a distortion of history. It is a deliberate distortion of facts.

Dutton;
The Sudanese government has said that it stopped GEM fighters from
coming into your country….

Pres. Issias;
They have never said that. No Sudanese government or official has said
that because they can not prove that. It is said in the name of
Sudanese officials and the government and this is a distortion of
facts.

Dutton;
Who then was responsible for pulling the GEM out of the peace talks…

Pres. Issias;
No, no, no, never! That never happened. In Abuja when negotiations
were under way we said this is not a solution. There has to be a
conclusive and comprehensive peace process in the Sudan to address the
issues of Southern Sudan, Eastern Sudan, Central Sudan, Northern Sudan
and Darfur. We have never entertained the idea of intervening this way
or that way to support one group against the other.

All those allegations were being leveled against Eritrea as being one
of the main backers in destabilizing this region, the Horn of Africa…

But then again who has been destabilizing the Horn of Africa? Who has
been supporting warlords in Somalia for the last twenty years? Who has
intervened in and invaded Somalia? Who has wanted to put governments
from outside? We have had three strategic interventions in the last
eight or ten years where people have tried to impose governments from
outside. None of these has worked…

Dutton;
And that is not what you are doing in this region….?

Pres. Issias;
….this is destabilizing Somalia and by destabilizing Somalia, you
destabilize the region.

Dutton;
You are friends with Israel and Iran. How do you balance the two?

Pres. Issias;
That is another joke. Why would the United States impose an arms
embargo on Eritrea, a small country with limited resources, and not
impose sanctions on the alleged role of Iran in the region? How can
you possibly appreciate the logic behind this position of the United
States?

Dutton;
Ok, so how can you explain the role that Iran has in this region…..

Pres. Issias;
There is no role for Iran in this region. Eritrea is not for sale.
Eritrea is not for sale not to Iran, not to Israel not to the United
States, not to anybody.

Dutton;
If Eritrea is not for sale, then how do you justify providing arms to
the Hamas…?

Pres. Issias;
We don’t even have any diplomatic relations with any Palestinian organization.

Dutton;
But you are allowing Iran to supply arms to Hamas through you…?

Pres. Issias
Where are the evidences? Do we need weapons from Iran? If we want to
give weapons to anyone, we don’t need it from Iran. We don’t need
weapons from Iran. We have more than we need. We can arm three or four
governments. We don’t need weapons from Iran. We do not have the
political will to work on behalf of anybody in this region. Never!

Dutton;
If it is not political will then what is it? Because they are going
through you into the Sudan….

Pres. Issias;
There is no Iranian presence in this region. Not in Eritrea.

Dutton;
There is Iranian presence in Assab. They have a military base there
and they are helping you with your oil refinery….

Pres. Issias;
I would invite you to go and visit Assab. There is no refinery there.
This is a joke; there is no refinery there.

Dutton;
Well then the evidence, as well as Israeli planes that stopped arms
shipment to the Sudan, where they got Iranian revolutionary guards…..

Pres. Issias;
Where are the evidences? Where are the evidences? Can you prove to
anyone that you have evidences to say that Eritrea is shipping arms to
anywhere else in the world?

Dutton;
You have a relationship with Iran as well as Israel. How do you
balance that? Or are you saying you have no relations?

Pres. Issias;
Not at all How can you possibly and logically understand such a
contradictory reality?

Dutton;
That is why I am asking…..

Pres. Issias;

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A warsame

Published by A Warsame is senior Editor and managing Director of Mareeg Media Whatup :+447737886245
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