WASHINGTON – Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, this week urged Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to improve relations with Eritrea and resume military cooperation with the troubled African nation.
In a letter to the newly confirmed top diplomat, the California Republican wrote, “Eritrea defeated the Stalinist dictatorship ruling Ethiopia to gain independence in 1991” and “is a key member of the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE fighting against Iranian backed Houthis in Yemen. Eritrea has excellent relations with Israel, UAE and Egypt. Cooperation with Eritrea to address the growing Chinese influence in the region, including their new military base in Djibouti and the ongoing fight against radical Islam makes sense.”
In 2009, prodded by the Obama administration, the United Nations imposed sanctions on the country. “The Obama sanctions,” wrote Rohrabacher, “are a burden and a stigma on Eritrea. They impede economic development and undermine our bilateral relationship. Whatever legitimate problems exist – whether involving human rights, diplomatic differences, or other issues – can be better addressed and solved in the context of normal relations and cooperation.”
The full text of the letter is here.
Kenneth Grubbs, 202-225-2415