Date: Friday, 31 May 2019
Rome(askanews) - "Eritrea focuses on Italy" to have the necessary support for the infrastructural development of the Country and the Horn of Africa region, and "we are waiting for the visit of the Minister (of Foreign Affairs Enzo, ed) Moavero Milanesi to pass to greater concreteness of the projects. This was said by the Eritrean ambassador in Italy, Fessahazion Pietros, questioned by askanews on the relations between Italy and Eritrea on the sidelines of the Eritrean party organized in Rome for the 28th anniversary of the independence of the Horn of Africa country.
The diplomat recalled that, during the visit to Italy by President of the Italian Council, Giuseppe Conte, last October, "President Isaias (Afewerki, ed) said that Eritrea is focusing on Italy, on the support of the Italian government for regarding the development of infrastructure, an issue that concerns not only Eritrea, but also Ethiopia ". According to the Eritrean leader, Fessahazion added, Italy should act as a "bridge between the Horn of Africa and Europe" to support the infrastructural development of the region. "We need reliable roads that link Eritrea to Ethiopia and other countries - he remarked - and if possible, also of a rail network that strengthens the trade between our countries".
The Ethiopian Prime Minister, added the Eritrean ambassador, also returned to the issue of infrastructure "when he visited Italy", last January.
At the joint press conference held at the end of the meeting with Abiy Ahmed, Conte underlined that "Italy wants to incite the entire European Union to pay attention to the social and economic development of the Horn of Africa", adding: "I guaranteed that we will finance a feasibility study to realize the most important infrastructures that the country needs and we will be involved in the involvement of the most important international financial institutions, because once agreed which are the most important projects, they receive the economic support they deserve ”.
But "nothing has happened since the beginning of the year", said the ambassador, in the face of the European elections last Sunday that "committed Italy". However, last February the European Union announced a € 20 million loan for the reconstruction of roads connecting the Ethiopian border to Eritrean ports, but according to the diplomat, "that money is not enough" to support a real revival of the region.