Saturday, March 1, 2014

Ethiopia Worried by Eritrea’s Latest Active Diplomacy

eri-diplo-ethioMarch 1, 2014 (Tesfa News) — The Ethiopian Foreign ministry has issued this week a special directives to its diplomatic missions around the world to start countering Eritrea’s latest active diplomatic successes that aimed at fostering trade and economic co-operations besides garnering the much needed political support to end the politically motivated, U.S. engineered United Nations sanction on the country.
The directive orders all Ethiopian diplomats and heads of missions to start an immediate diplomatic activity and lobbying work in their respective host states on the need to maintain the sanction imposed on Eritrea.
Eritrea recently appointed 14 new ambassadors to carry out its renewed and active diplomatic maneuvers in many African, Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Some of the recent major diplomatic moves includes the establishment of full diplomatic relation with Turkey and the signing of the first ever economic and diplomatic cooperation agreements with Moscow.
Eritrea also renewed its active diplomatic engagement with neighboring countries like Uganda, Kenya and Egypt besides the excellent relation it enjoys with the two Sudans. It has also appointed new ambassadors to the EU and Norway after a European Union delegation visited Asmara and agreed to reactivate development partnership between the two countries.
Sweden also showed interest in renewing its long frozen relation with Eritrea first by assigning a non-resident ambassador to Eritrea and by rejecting the looming politically motivated ban on the 2% Eritrean “diaspora tax’ by the the Swedish Riksdag. Eritrea reciprocated the good gesture by appointing its first ambassador to the country in nine years.
Eritrea also resetted its one time frosty relation with the United Nation after a delegation comprised of regional directors from UNDP, UNICEF, IOM, UNFPA, ILO and WFP headed by the Chair of the regional United Nations Development Group (UNDG) for Eastern and Southern Africa, Mr Abdoulaye Mar Dieye concluded a three days visit to Asmara. Eritrea reciprocated by assigning new envoy to the UN.
Such current developments are on top of the formal diplomatic ties the country enjoys with almost all UN member states and the over 30 Embassies and Consulates it has all over the world while also hosting a similar number in its capital.
In the face of such highly successful diplomatic gains within a very short period of time together with the recent pronouncement by three prominent American diplomats that publicly questioned the wisdom behind maintaining the sanction with the absence of any real or fabricated evidence linking Eritrea with Somalia rebels, the Ethiopian government have every reason to worry that such unexpected diplomatic successes might eventually lead to the lifting of the sanction.
The Ministry’s directive stressed that the bulk of this new assignment will be conducted through its Ambassadors in Canada, Australia, Denmark, North and South Sudan, UK, USA, France, Germany, Israel, Italy and Norway. The directive concludes by reminding the diplomats to send their progress report back to the Ministry by the end of the month.

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