[dehai-news] PRESS RELEASE - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Eritrea.

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From: Freweini Abraham (freweini@embassyeritrea.org)
Date: Thu Dec 11 2008 - 12:45:12 EST

Press Release

By Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Dec 11, 2008, 13:25


In the waning days of the Bush Administration, and as the world awaits a
breath of fresh air in US global engagement, some State Department officials
are making a last-ditch attempt to tie the hands of the incoming
administration in the strategic Horn of Africa region. These officials are
once again seeking to have the United States declare Eritrea a "state
sponsor of terrorism," an objective they failed to achieve only a few months
earlier, when many in and outside the administration were unconvinced by the
accusations and thought the whole idea counter-productive and detrimental to
the cause of peace and stability in the Horn of Africa as well as US

The allegations against Eritrea, which has a solid track record of fighting
terrorism, of which it has been a victim, are preposterous in the extreme.

Eritrea's position on Somalia has been clear from the outset: i) end foreign
intervention as it will only aggravate the situation; and, ii) allow Somalis
to find homegrown solutions to their problem. We opposed the US-Ethiopian
military adventure in December 2006, stating that Somalia will be a
"quagmire" for the occupation force. We consistently called for constructive
engagement with all relevant Somali actors. While others tried to divide
them, branding some "moderates" and others "extremists", we questioned the
wisdom of such an approach and encouraged Somalis to establish an inclusive
and broad alliance to reconstitute their country. Our perspective has been
proven right on all accounts.

In light of these facts, it is clear that the motives of the US officials
who are, at this late hour, trying to slap the terrorism label and impose
sanctions on Eritrea, go beyond the blame game. They intend to obstruct any
move to bring US-Eritrea relations back on track.

In his congratulatory message to President-Elect Barack Obama, President
Isaias Afwerki had stated: "Let me further avail of this historic occasion
to express my ardent hope that US policy in our region will indeed change
under Your Excellency's Presidency to pursue a constructive path to advance
the cause of regional peace, justice and legality".

This hope of mutually constructive engagement and cooperation, which indeed
is the hope not only of Eritrea, but also of the people of the entire
region, should not be allowed to be dashed by last minute decisions.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
11 December 2008


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