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|A united and strong Ethiopia is a strength to Eritrea, President Isaias underscores|
A united and strong Ethiopia is a strength to Eritrea, President Isaias underscores
May 16, 2009, 13:47
Asmara, 16 May 2009 – President Isaias Afwerki underlined that a united, inclusive and integrated Ethiopia is equally strength to Eritrea, and that this is not only a conviction but also one of the strategic pillars of the Eritrean government.
The President made the salient remarks in an interview he conducted with the Ethiopian Review website. In the extensive and detailed reply he gave to questions gathered from Ethiopians inside the country and abroad, as well as other nationals in different parts of the world who visit the website, he indicated that Ethiopia's unity has always been in Eritrea's interest and never a threat. Noting that praying for the disintegration of other countries is a characteristic feature of the thinking of weak parties, the President stated that such a pattern of thinking is alien to Eritrea.
President Isaias further pointed out that so-called talks alleging that the 'Eritrean government does not want to see a united and strong Ethiopia' is but a propaganda gimmick employed by the TPLF clique in a bid to prolong its stay in power and divert the attention of the Ethiopian people. "Had the Eritrean government's strategy been against Ethiopia's unity, it would undoubtedly have supported the TPLF which in essence is pursuing the task of disintegration," he underlined. In this connection, the President elaborated that the weakening of Ethiopia runs counter to Eritrea's interest and strategy.
Replying to a question regarding the issue of Eritrean ports vis-а-vis service-rendering on the part of Ethiopians, he stated that following Eritrea's independence, the nation's ports served Ethiopia more than Eritrea, and that this was for the sake of the Ethiopian people and ties between the people of the two countries, and not for the TPLF. President Isaias further asserted that even now, as far as Eritrea is concerned "the sky is the limit" as regards fostering relations of cooperation and partnership on the basis of respect to sovereignty provided Eritrean-Ethiopian relations is normalized.
In a brief reply he gave to a question about allegations that 'President Isaias and Premier Meles Zenawi hold secret contacts to prolong their stay in power through extending the prevailing no-peace no-war situation between Eritrea and Ethiopia,' the President declared: "This is just a fantasy entertained by bankrupt elements."
Stating that the sole stumbling block between the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia is indeed the dwarf TPLF clique trying to appear big as a result of inferiority complex, President Isaias explained that the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia should be free from falling victim to the attitude of narrow mindedness and suspicion which the TPLF had instigated, and thus avoid becoming hostage of history. Moreover, he called on both peoples to aspire for a bright future and work together towards co-existing as blessed neighbors.
Indicating that the fostering of friendship and partnership between the Eritrean and Ethiopian people is a nightmare to the TPLF, the President noted that although the TPLF clique is weaving conspiracy to sabotage the forums being witnessed in some countries aimed at strengthening partnership and friendship between both peoples, the initiative should nonetheless be encouraged as it creates conducive ground for broader partnership.
President Isaias went on to assert that the Government of Eritrea has been advising the TPLF regime right from the very beginning to work for a united and new Ethiopia, and that Eritrea's strategic choice remains fostering close ties and cooperation of partnership with all Ethiopian political forces. In this regard, he pointed out that Eritrea is not willing to work with forces that always aspire for narrow nationalism. "National movement should only serve as a transitional program," he elaborated.
Stressing that linking the TPLF with the people of Tigray is quite wrong; the President explained that this clique has exposed the Tigrayans to isolation and to be viewed with suspicion and hatred on the part of other sections of the Ethiopian population. He also said that such a state of affairs has in due course given rise to opposition among the Tigrayan people, thus eventually leading to strong armed struggle. In this respect, President Isaias elaborated that the people of Tigray themselves have become sick and tired of the clique that certainly does not stand for the interest of Ethiopia and its people.
Moreover, the President pointed out that the genocide which the TPLF regime is committing in the Ogaden is part and parcel of its policy of ethnic cleansing, and that such atrocities which were not witnessed even in the days of the Haileselassie and Derg rule constitute not only a black spot in Ethiopian history but is also a major political loss to the country.
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