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(InnerCityPress) After Eritrea Replies to Ethiopia's Badme Announcement US Welcomes Afwerki's Move

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Friday, 22 June 2018

After Eritrea Replies to Ethiopia's Badme Announcement US Welcomes Afwerki's Move

By Matthew Russell Lee, Eritrea, Iran

UNITED NATIONS, June 21 – After UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres grip and grin sessions on the UN's 27th floor during UN General Assembly high level week in 2017, his meetings and photo ops on 27 September with the foreign ministers of Eritrea and Iran were back on the 38th floor, with now-gone USg Jeff Feltman at both meetings. Both countries were and are subject to sanctions; Iran's Javad Zarif was on his way to speak at the Asia Society.  Guterres, his spokesman told Inner City Press, is often about "private" diplomacy. Here was his Eritrea read-out: "The Secretary-General met today with H. E. Mr. Osman Mohammed Saleh, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Eritrea.  The Secretary-General and the Minister for Foreign Affairs exchanged views on a number of issues, including cooperation between the United Nations and Eritrea, and the peace and security situation in the Horn of Africa region." Now on 21 June 2018, a bit late some say, Guterres though his restricting spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who unilaterally banned the type of live-stream Inner City Press broadcast during the 2017 grip and grins and since, has issued this: "The Secretary-General welcomes the positive steps taken recently by Ethiopia and Eritrea to resolve the outstanding issues regarding the normalization of relations between the two countries. The Secretary-General commends the efforts of the leaders of both countries to achieve sustainable peace and good neighborly relations which, in turn, will have positive repercussions in the entire Horn of Africa region.  The Secretary-General stands ready to provide all support that may contribute to advancing and consolidating the process of engagement between Ethiopia and Eritrea." So what about those sanctions? Later on June 21, the US issued this: "The United States is encouraged by the progress that Ethiopia and Eritrea have made to resolve longstanding disputes and normalize relations.  Over the past 20 years, the frozen conflict between these states has hindered stability and economic growth in the vital Red Sea region.  A durable peace will yield greater prosperity and security not only for the citizens of Ethiopia and Eritrea, but also for their neighbors, the United States, and the world. The United States commends Ethiopia’s statement on June 5, 2018 announcing that Ethiopia fully accepts the 2000 Algiers Agreement, issued in the context of positive political and economic reforms.  The United States also welcomes Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki’s June 20, 2018 commitment to send a delegation to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to advance the peace process.  Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Isaias Afwerki have demonstrated courageous leadership by taking these steps toward peace.  Ethiopia and Eritrea have a critical role in promoting stability and prosperity in the Horn of Africa.  The United States looks forward to a full normalization of relations and the realization of our shared aspirations for both countries to enjoy enduring peace and development.  As a witness to the Algiers Agreement, the United States stands ready to facilitate progress toward this goal." ...

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