After Eritrea and Ethiopia ended the state of war and agreed to open a new era of peace and friendship, for the first time President Isaias Afewerki stops for a brief interview by the shores of the Red Sea in the port city of Assab.
Responding to the question posed by Girum Chala on the whole development of normalisation between Ethiopia and Eritrea the president responded “we have been in an abnormal situation for so long without any rational or justification and we are coming back to normalcy its as simple as that”
It is clear to see the coming phase in the eyes of the leadership in Eritrea is to develop the economy, and return the situation between the two countries back to normalcy, the president made it clear it is about “recouping lost opportunity and rebuilding what was lost in a fast manner and with better momentum”, he further stated the need “to re plan for the future to makeup for lost opportunities which have been hampered or sabotaged” speaking pragmatically he also stressed that the “task ahead is more challenging than any time in the past.”
Speaking about the port of of Assab President Isaias stated that “Assab should have been developed as a hub not only for the bilateral relation but also for the global and regional dimensions as well, we’ve not benefited from the facilities that should have been developed in Assab. We need to expand and rehabilitate at least for the short term and move faster. But for the long term this has been a natural harbour historically and coming back to normalcy we need to give this port its due position in the regional and global setting. Our cooperation program are addressing those issues now and we’re doing it in a phased manner.”
On questions posed relating to east African region and the continent, the president responded by saying “we are not reinventing any wheel, this was there in the early 90s, IGAD was a drought organisation, it was transformed in to a developmental organisation with the needs that were realised then, now we are not recreating the wheel, we need to go back to square one and do the job that we have lost for the last 20 years.”