South Africa’s support for Eritrea and consideration into the deep-rooted factors underlying the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea
FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION NO: 675 (CW889E)
PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO: 38-2012 of 30 NOVEMBER 2012
MR D B FELDMAN (COPE-Gauteng) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:
Whether South Africa’s support for Eritrea has taken into consideration the deep-rooted factors underlying the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;
whether the Government’s position to support Eritrea in the Ethiopian-Eritrean conflict will strain the relationship between South Africa and Ethiopia; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details;
whether South Africa’s decision to support the Eritrean government is out of bilateral economic necessity; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?
South Africa has normal bilateral relations with Eritrea as with any other African country, including Ethiopia. With regard to the Ethio-Eritrea relations, South Africa supports the position taken at the AU Summit in Addis Ababa during July 2012, in which the AU appealed to the two countries to exercise restraint and emphasised the AU’s readiness to assist the two countries to overcome the challenges at hand and address their underlying causes, through dialogue, and help them normalise relations.
South Africa has cordial bilateral relations with Ethiopia and our relations with Eritrea do not have an adverse impact on our relations with Ethiopia. In this regard South Africa and Ethiopia recently participated in the 2nd Joint Ministerial Commission meeting in April 2012 in Addis Ababa, which was followed by a Senior Officials Meeting in November 2012 in South Africa.
- No, we are impartial in the Ethiopia / Eritrea dispute. South Africa’s relations with Eritrea are based on the principle of normal government-to-government bilateral relations as with other African countries.