May 22, 2011

President Isaias Afwerki on the Red Sea region

H.E. President Isaias Afwerki

Eritrean Center for Strategic Studies: Your Excellency, whereas some primary and secondary powers are lobbying that the Red Sea’s peace and security should be guaranteed, the countries of the region have become silent observers. What is Eritrea’s stand on this sensitive issue?

President Isaias Afwerki Eritrea does not accept such foreign intervention and it is not due to emotional or political reasons. If left alone, the countries of the region can integrate their resources and solve the problem practically and technically. Even if there had been a problem of security, it was not necessary to try to resolve it by amassing sophisticated technology and big warships in the region. The countries of the region could have resolved the problem by cooperating with each other, without soliciting foreign intervention.

The people engaged in piracy merely use small fiber glass boats. They do not have cannons or any other heavy arms. They can carry small arms only, and because there is no force that can curb their illegal activities, the light weapons can be effective. Even if scores of warships are deployed, it is difficult to control Somalia’s coastline. Together with its extension the Indian Ocean.

We do not expect the arms and warships mobilized to the region for military and technical purposes will resolve the problem of piracy. It might be possible to resolve the problem in co-operation with the countries in the Red Sea region and the Gulf of Aden. But this does not suit those parties who benefit from piracy. Forces which use piracy as a pretext for promoting their ulterior agendas do not wish the implementation of such cooperation. As a result, when concerned countries attempt to co-operate in this regard, they face challenges from the forces which have deployed warships around our region and stand to benefit by aggravating the crisis.

We should be aware that there are forces which profit from crises and instability. These forces brag they will create a safe environment by combating terrorism and piracy. The main objective of such lies and deceit is to instigate crises and problems and then manage them. These statements are advanced deliberately to cover hidden agendas of schemes concerning the Horn of Africa region and the Red Sea.

Read the full Interview here

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