Date: Wednesday, 08 May 2019
“Eritrea and China stand ready to build a healthy and strong partnership for the benefit of their two peoples,” a statement made by Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh when he met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.
The Information Minister, Yemane Meskel wrote on Twitter that Saleh and his delegation were in Beijing for a three-day visit.
“The two sides assessed their relations to date and discussed ways & means of boosting cooperation in various fields.
“FM Wang affirmed that China welcomed the positive developments in the Horn of Africa and underlined its readiness to help in the consolidation of the process underway,” Meskel added.
The Eritrean delegation after meeting with FM Wang are also scheduled to hold meetings with other government officials and heads of enterprises.
This trip is the latest leg of a rejuvenated diplomatic engagement by Asmara. Minister Saleh along with presidential advisor Yemane Ghebreab have been the face of Eritrea’s resurgent diplomacy.
Eritrea was one of a handful of nations whose president was not in attendance during the Forum for China – Africa Cooperation held in Beijing in 2018. China’s relations with Africa continues to elicit claims that most nations are being wooed into debt trap.
On May 6, 2019, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs Osman Saleh of the State of Eritrea in Beijing.
Wang Yi expressed that with a traditional friendship, China and the State of Eritrea have always enjoyed mutual understanding and support on issues concerning each other's core interests and major concerns. The Chinese side cherishes the traditional friendship between the two countries, and is willing to, together with the Eritrean side, enhance exchanges, increase understanding, and deepen mutual trust to achieve common development.
Wang Yi pointed out that the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation respectively came to a successful conclusion last September and at the end of last month. African countries took an active part in the above-mentioned two events. The Chinese side and the African side are strengthening integration and implementing outcomes to achieve common development under the frameworks of the FOCAC Beijing Summit and the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. Under such circumstances, bilateral practical cooperation needs to catch up with the trend of the great development of China-Africa cooperation. We are willing to share development opportunities with the Eritrean side to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results. The Chinese side is happy to see improvement in the situation in the Horn of Africa, and is willing to continue playing a constructive role in this regard. The Chinese side's relationship with African countries is based on non-interference in each other's internal affairs. We agree with the proposition that African issues should be resolved by Africa, and stand ready to work with African countries including the Eritrean side, to jointly well safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.
Osman Saleh conveyed President Isaias Afwerki's sincere greetings and best wishes to President Xi Jinping. Osman Saleh expressed that as developing countries, the State of Eritrea and China share similar experiences and both sides have always firmly supported each other. Regarding China as a long-term and true friend, the Eritrean side expressed that the Chinese side is welcome to play a positive role in promoting peace and stability in the Horn of Africa. The comprehensive development achievements China has made are important contributions to the world. The Eritrean side stands ready to, together with the Chinese side, advance exchanges and cooperation in diplomacy, economy, society, culture and other fields, and enhance communication and coordination in international and regional affairs, so as to push the partnership between the State of Eritrea and China for sustained, sound and stable development.
Both sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern.