Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki gestures during an interview in Asmara May 13, 2008. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki gestures during an interview in Asmara May 13, 2008. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti

Eritrean president denies presence of Egyptian troops in Eritrea

Mon, Jan. 15, 2018
CAIRO – 15 January 2018: On Sunday, President of Eritrea Isaias Afwerki denied the presence of any Egyptian troops at the Sawa base, which is on the Sudanese border. He also accused some circles in Ethiopia and Sudan of attempting to create conflicts between Asmara and Khartoum.

This occurred during an interview with state media Eri-TV and the Dimtsi Hafash radio station on Sunday. In the interview, he assessed the claims that Egyptian troops are in Eritrea as fake news and slammed the Qatari Al-Jazeera TV channel which first broadcasted the news.

He also criticized the Sudanese allegations released on Thursday that Sudan has sent troops and equipment to the border of Eritrea, alluding to the possibility that Sudan and Ethiopia seek to push Eritrea into war.

Speaking about the Turkish military presence in the Red sea region, he said it is unacceptable and destabilizes the region.

The President of Eritrea visited Egypt on January 9 to discuss mutual efforts by Egypt and Eritrea to strengthen their close ties.

This visit came amid the tense relations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan regarding the Renaissance Dam negotiations and the already strained relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia. The difficult relations between Sudan and Egypt come as a result of Sudan’s claims that Egypt proposed to exclude Sudan from the dam talks; also, the dispute regarding the sovereignty over the Halayeb triangle is another contributing factor to the fraught relationship between the two countries.

On January 8, the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed that Egypt did not ask Ethiopia to exclude Sudan from the negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Bilateral relations between Egypt and Eritrea are found in different fields and are based on the historic relations between the two countries, along with the recent regional developments in the Nile Basin countries and African horn region.
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