I believe that our objective during these crucial period of transition unfolding in our region is to navigate our ship (Eritrea), across the prevailing global stormy political, economic, social and military upheavals and environment to a very safe, efficient, economic, innovative destination which is essentially focused towards a destination of constructive engagement, economic strength, human security and to a further enhancement and strengthening of bilateral and multilateral regional relations.
While undertaking this voyage, we should not, even for one second lose sight of, the context in which, Eritrea’s legitimate strategic position is located. Eritrea is part and parcel of the Middle East, Horn of Africa and Nile Basin countries and our currency Nakfa is pegged to the US dollar, which is by necessity a catholic marriage.
Unfolding trade war, energy crisis, climate change, commodity and money market crisis, issue of Nakfa as a dollar pegged currency, foreign reserve capacity, food security, regional upheavals and conflicts and their spillover effects; situation of Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Israel, Palestine etc., and their spillover effects must be always weighed carefully against the national interest of our country.
Many multilateral and bilateral sphere of diplomacy are currently rolling all over our region i.e.: G8, G20, G70 plus 1, BRICS etc., Nuclear Disarmament, NPOs and NGOs; Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) established by Japan since 1993; Africa Partnership Forum (APF) established by G8 since 2003; New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP) established by Non Aliened Movement (NAM) since 2003; China Africa Partnership (CAP) established by China since 20O3; Emergency Plan for Aids Relief of the President (EPARP) established by Bush since 2003; Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) established by Bush since 2005; EU-Africa Strategic Partnership (EUASP) established by EU-AU since 2005; Africa-Turkey Cooperation Summit (ATCS), established by Turkey since 2008; Initiative for Africa’s Development of the Republic of Korea (ASDRK) established by South Korea since 2006; Africa – South America Summit (ASAS) established by Brazil since 2008; Comprehensive Health Care Initiative of Cuba to Africa (CHICA), established by Cuba since 2003; Special Technical Assistance Program for Africa of Pakistan (SPAP) established by Pakistan in 1986; India – Africa Forum (IAF), established by India in 2008; Vietnam Africa Forum (VAF) established in 2008 etc. ; EU, Arab League, AU, NEPAD, ECA, IGAD, East African Community, COMESA, SADC, ECOWAS etc.,; AFRICOM, UN and UN Agencies, WB, IMF, African Development Bank, Arab Development Bank etc., COP on environment and climate change issues and related partnerships, the Djibouti Code of Conduct, NPOs, NGOs and Nuclear Watchdogs are among many important phenomenal aspects of our planet for Eritrea to deal with in the maiden route of its voyage.
The game played against Eritreans by TPLF for the last 27 years is over. Sky is the limit for Eritrea now. A new chapter has to commence now. Eritrea must never be dictated by the inessential situation created by this primitive organization called “Weyane”. Conscious education is a must to our youth. Hate language has become a matter of fact instrument of the rule in Ethiopia in the past years. The spillover effect to the region of this menace is major factor now. The Ethiopian people have risen up in their fight against this danger in the past years. Their victory is becoming imminent day by day. The antithesis of hate mongering in our region must be complemented by a continued constructive engagement of Eritrea in the region.
Eritrea’s current compass reading is: Coastline: 3300 km – Mainland: 1350 km – Islands: 1950 km, Islands: 354, Area: 124,000 km2 and EEZ is: 120,000km2 and the Captain’s radio message is: the horizon leading to the beacon of hope is definite and in our insight now – peace, stability, prosperity and regional cooperation.
Ladies and gentlemen, Ethiopia is not Yugoslavia. This is the end of Chapter 1. The population of Eritrea and Ethiopia must be made to understand and be properly empowered with the full knowledge of the conditions expected on the historic juncture we are all in now. The horizon of cooperation is beyond the boundaries of Eritrea, not exclusive and not within. This horizon definitely includes and doesn’t exclude Ethiopia because it was a horizon of freedom that was built by the blood, sweat and tears of the heroic sons and daughters of these two great nations.
This light at the end of the tunnel is obscured by two issues-the 16 year long Ethiopian occupation of sovereign Eritrean territories in violation of international law and the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission’s final and binding delimitation and demarcation decisions. The other issue is the 9 year old UN illegal and unjust sanctions engineered by the United States and Ethiopia in 2009. Eritrea’s right to sovereignty and self-defense enshrined in the UN Charter are violated by these two issues. The UN Security Council must fulfill its legal and moral obligation by restoring Eritrea’s sovereign rights fully.