November 6, 2011

Press Release – Kenyan Foreign Minister’s Remarks Regrettable

The Government of Eritrea finds extremely regrettable the remarks attributed to the Foreign Minister of Kenya, H.E. Moses Wetangula,regarding the fabricated story of Eritrean arms shipments to AI Shabab in Somalia. The comments were unfortunate particularly in light of the expected visit of the Eritrean Foreign Minister to Kenya.

Eritrea had on Wednesday replied to the sensational and ill-motivated allegations stating categorically that they were false and baseless. Eritrea had also affirmed that it could not and would not send arms to AI Shabab as it firmly believes that there can be no military solution to the problem of Somalia and given AI Shabab’s well-known antipathy towards what it calls the “secular Eritrean state.”

In his meeting with Foreign Minister Wetangula,Eritrea’s ambassador in Nairobi, Beyene Russom, also stressed that Eritrea had no intention or interest to arm AI Shabab and that the allegations were a continuation of a systematic disinformation campaign aimed at tarnishing Eritrea’s image and creating a schism between Eritrea and its neighbours in the Horn of Africa.

The Eritrean ambassador reminded the Kenyan Foreign Minister that his Eritrean counterpart had been requesting to visit Kenya since July of this year. At that time the Eritrean Foreign Minister was able to visit Uganda with a message from President Isaias Afwerki to President Yoweri Museveni. In August, the Eritrean President visited Uganda and held extensive and fruitful talks with his Ugandan host, a visit that led to the consolidation of political and economic relations between the two countries.

Eritrea hopes that the forthcoming visit of its Foreign Minister to Nairobi will not only clear any misunderstanding but enhance relations between the two friendly countries.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
05 November 2011

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