Italian Prime Minster Giuseppe Conte to Visit Eritrea in December




Is Italy getting closer to the Horn of Africa? In October, visit of Conte in Eritrea and Ethiopia



The news that flows from the peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia do nothing but surprise us, day by day. Now it’s time for Premier Giuseppe Conte to visit both countries.



Software Translation from Italian | Sept 23, 2018



The news can only arouse clamor, but at the same time great satisfaction among those who, for years, hoped for a recovery of the relationship between Italy and the countries of the Horn of Africa, which have been linked to it by a long colonial history.



In the first half of October, presumably around 11, the premier Conte will go to Ethiopia, for a bilateral meeting with the new premier Abiy Ahmed, and later will also go to Eritrea, for a high-level appointment with President Isaias Afewerki.



The impression we get from this move is that diplomacy and Italian politics move with caution, but also with confidence. The peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea was announced and then bilaterally formalized last 8-9 July, but later there were further meetings between Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afewerki, and at a certain point the presidents of Somalia and Djibouti, with the aim of carrying out a plan of peace and regional integration valid for all the actors of the Horn of Africa. Finally, a week ago, in the presence of King Salman, in Gedda, Saudi Arabia, the definitive declaration of peace was signed. Salman acted as mediator, assisted by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and African Union Commission President Moussa Faki Mahamated.




However, the efforts made by US Undersecretary Yamamoto should not be underestimated in this long history, given that the Trump Administration has certainly played a decisive role in the political transition that took place in Ethiopia, as well as those of China, which has a fundamental voice. throughout the region in economic and commercial terms, and that it had announced its intention to reduce investments in Ethiopia if the latter had not regularized the war and political situation with Eritrea. If Eritrea had in fact signed the Algiers Agreements in 2000, Ethiopia, then led by Meles Zenawi, had not done so, and indeed had continued to occupy the Eritrean border areas militarily in violation of international law. no longer sustainable,



At the present time Ethiopia is the second interlocutor for Italy in terms of cooperation within the African Continent, but there are still enormous margins for improvement, deriving also from the peaceful integration with Eritrea and Somalia. A few weeks ago, the German foreign minister also visited Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, attracted by the great possibilities guaranteed by the new peace.



In this regard, just yesterday the UN Security Council also discussed, once again, the need to remove the sanctions against Eritrea inspired by Obama in 2009 and 2011, and which still remain in force despite the peace born between the countries of the Horn of Africa. The great progress achieved throughout the region was underlined and praised, with Asmara, which today is at the heart of a peace and a process of regional cooperation that ties the four East African countries together. The natural consequence is that we proceed then to remove, as soon as possible, these absurd sanctions, at the time desired by Obama and adopted by the UN, on false accusations and fabricated evidence, relating to the involvement of Eritrea in the work of -Shabaab in Somalia who was quickly disassembled and disbelieved.



It is therefore a duty, in this sense, that Italy should also take responsibility, precisely for the many links that associate it to Eritrea, to carry forward the message to abolish sanctions. In the presence of such sanctions, in fact, no cooperation project with the West and Italy in the first place will ever take off.



A parliamentary battle has already begun for this purpose. The Hon. Paolo Grimoldi della Lega, president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, for example said: “The change in the political situation requires the elimination of sanctions against Eritrea, sanctions that only feed poverty and emigration to Europe . For this reason I asked in a parliamentary question addressed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and presented together with the Northern League deputies Matteo Bianchi and Alberto Ribolla, what initiatives the Minister intends to assume and promote, both at national, European and international level “.



In the question, Grimoldi emphasizes that “the recent election of the new Ethiopian premier Abiy Ahmed has constituted a positive turning point for the improvement of relations between Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. Ahmed and Isaias Afewerki, president of Eritrea, jointly signed, on 9 July 2018, a declaration of peace and friendship based on the formalization of the end of the conflict and the promotion of close cooperation in the cultural, social, economic and political spheres and security, with the goal of re-establishing diplomatic relations and restoring trade, communications and connections. This declaration of peace is reason enough to take action in order to end the sanctions issued in 2009 and 2011, motivated by alleged Eritrean interference in Somalia;



The hope is that therefore on the basis of the fight to abolish the sanctions, it can create between Italy and Eritrea (and also with all the other countries of the Horn of Africa) a collaboration and a full-fledged friendship, which invests all those sectors necessary for the health of a common future and a mutual well-being.