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Eritrea Accuses Qatar, Turkey of ‘Subversive Acts’

Eritrea Accuses Qatar, Turkey of ‘Subversive Acts’

Friday, 5 April, 2019 - 05:45
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (L) and President Isaias Afeworki of Eritrea (R) celebrate the opening of the Embassy of Eritrea in Ethiopia reopened following the official visit after 20 years, in Addis Ababa on July 13, 2018. AFP

The Eritrean government accused Turkey and Qatar on Thursday of seeking to obstruct and derail the peace process with Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa region.

“The sporadic acts of subversion conducted by the Turkish Government, (under the auspices of the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP), against Eritrea are well known to merit elaboration here,” the Eritrean Information Ministry said in a statement published Thursday.

It added that these futile acts are perpetrated through the funding and operational services of Qatar, as well as the collusion of the Sudanese regime, which has allowed its territory to be used for the nefarious aims.

The Ministry said those acts have been ratcheted up especially in the past year with the singular aim of obstructing the peace process and positive developments in the ties between Eritrea and Ethiopia in particular and the whole Horn of Africa region in general.

“The Turkish government has opened, at the beginning of this year, an Office for the Chairman of the obscure “Eritrean Muslim League” under the mantle of “Eritrean Ulama’s League/Eritrean Rabita-i Ulama,” it explained.

Mohamed Abdel Qader, Director of the Turkish Affairs Unit at Al-Ahram Center for Regional and Strategic Studies, told Asahrq Al-Awsat that the Turkish-Qatari move aims to expand the specter of their influence in Africa, after having tense relations with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, the four countries that have cut ties with Doha.

Abdel Qader said the move also aims to exploit the fragile situation in counties such as Libya, Sudan and Somalia.

For his part, Dr. Ayman Abdel-Wahab, an expert in African affairs at the center, said: “The reconciliation between Ethiopia and Eritrea restored a lot of balance in the region although it faced some interference from forces such as Qatar and Turkey, partly linked to the situation in Somalia and competition over ports in the Red Sea.”

He described Thursday’s statement by the Eritrean Information Ministry as “daring and very strong.”

Last year, Eritrea and Ethiopia signed a peace agreement supported by Saudi Arabia and the UAE after decades of hostility.

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