THE Government of Eritrea has complained to President Edgar Lungu over the sanctions imposed against that country by the United Nations (UN) Security Council, describing the penalty as harsh, drastic and dangerous which would only fan flames of conflict in the Horn of Africa and beyond.
The Eritrean government has told President Lungu that the sanctions which were imposed on that country in 2009 and 2011 and the continuing pressure to isolate Eritrea did not make any contribution to regional peace, stability and cooperation.
And President Lungu has assured the Eritrean Government that he was going to take its concerns over the continued sanctions against that country seriously because Zambia was committed to continue working with other countries in an effort to bring peace and stability to the Horn of Africa.
Presenting his credentials to President Lungu at State House yesterday, Eritrean ambassador to Zambia Salih Omar Abdu said time had come for the Security Council to lift the unjust and counterproductive sanctions on Eritrea.
Mr Omar Abdu said the lifting of the sanctions against Eritrea would address the injustices the people of that country and Ethiopia had suffered between 2009 and 2011.
He told President Lungu that once the sanctions were lifted, the development agenda of both Eritrea and Ethiopia would be spurred and redoubled as well as fostering regional stability.
Mr Omar Abdu said the lifting of the sanctions on Eritrea by the Security Council would provide regional stability and relax tensions in the region and Africa as a whole adding that there was no justification to maintain or even impose new sanctions on Eritrea.
“Your Excellency, Eritrea’s timely concern is about the hasty, drastic and dangerous sanctions imposed by the Security Council twice in 2009 and 2011. There is no justification to maintain sanctions against Eritrea not to mention imposing additional ones. Eritrea believes these sanctions and the continuing efforts to pressure and isolate Eritrea do not make the least contribution to regional peace, stability and cooperation. They only fan the flames of conflict in the horn of Africa and beyond. I believe time has come to lift the unjust and counterproductive sanctions on Eritrea, which would address the injustice and provide both the Eritrea and Ethiopian people with a spur to redouble efforts to national development and regional peace and stability,” he said.
Mr Omar Abdu said Zambia and Eritrea had common cultural heritage and could widely exchange experiences and skills in science and technology, mining, agriculture and foreign policy matters.
President Lungu yesterday received letters of credentials from Australia, Bulgaria, Eritrea, South Korea, Niger and Senegal and said it was his belief that the ambassadors and high commissioners would bring renewed impetus to explore new avenues of collaborations among the countries in enhancing diplomatic relations.
President Lungu reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to unrelenting support to the new Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Zambia.
Among the new ambassadors and high commissioners that presented their credentials to President Lungu were Mrs Suzanne McCourt of Australia, Mrs Kutya Deleva of Bulgaria, Mr Salih Omar Abdu of Eritrea, Mr Kwon Yong Kyu of South Korea, Mrs Rakiatov Makayi of Niger and Dr Momar Diop of Senegal.
President Lungu told the Australian high commissioner that Zambia acknowledged the technical assistance that Australia was providing particularly in the areas of health, education and mining.
The Head of State said Australian companies accounted for a substantial portion of investment in the mining industry, which he said was a key growth sector of the Zambian economy.
President Lungu told the Bulgarian ambassador to Zambia Mrs Deleva that Zambia was seeking to expand her economy and that could only be possible with enhanced bilateral relations between countries.
“Zambia values the warm bilateral relations that exist with the Republic of Korea. I am aware that South Korea is among the leading economies of Asia and has made great advancement in the fields of electronics, telecommunications and automobile production. This is inspiring to Zambia and it is my ardent hope that our countries can fully explore cooperation in these areas,’’ President Lungu told Mr Kwon Yong Kyu, the Korean Ambassador to Zambia.