Saudi Arabia’s King Salman meets Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki, Arab News

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman discusses Red Sea, Gulf of Aden security with Eritrean president

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman held talks on Monday with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki in the capital Riyadh.

During the talks, they reviewed the bilateral relations between the two countries and developments in the Horn of Africa and the region.

They also discussed the importance and role of the Council of Arab and African States bordering the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden and ways of developing and enhancing opportunities for cooperation in various fields.

The meeting was also attended by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his Eritrean counterpart Osman Saleh Mohammed, among other senior officials from both sides.

Last month, the new council was formed in Saudi Arabia aimed at securing the waterways of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

The council, which includes Egypt, Jordan, Eritrea, Yemen, Sudan, Djibouti and Somalia, will increase cooperation between the countries and aims to tackle piracy, smuggling and other threats in the seas that are key international shipping routes.

The Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden are two of the world’s busiest shipping routes connecting Europe to Asia and the Middle East.

King Salman also hosted a lunch banquet in honor of Afwerki and his accompanying delegation.

The Kingdom played a leading role in September last year in hosting historic talks between the leaders of Eritrea and Djibouti. The two nations have been at loggerheads for decades over a long-standing border dispute.