Alexander Yakovenko, the Spokesman of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Answers Media Questions Regarding Eritrean Foreign Minister Ali Said Abdella's Visit to Moscow
Question: What is the significance of the Eritrean Foreign Affairs Minister's visit to Russia?
Answer: The upcoming working visit of the Foreign Affairs Minister of the State of Eritrea, Ali Said Abdella, to Moscow attests to the line on intensifying the African direction in Russian foreign policy and is meant to impart an additional impulse to our work on ensuring the long-term interests of Russia in Africa.
Question: What are you expecting from the upcoming visit?
Answer: The visit will serve to strengthen our political engagement with Eritrea on major international issues and help expand bilateral relations as a whole.
Question: What are the themes of the foreign policy dialogue of the two countries?
Answer: In the course of the talks of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov with Abdella there will be examined world developments in the context of new challenges and global threats, with a priority focus on such topical problems as the struggle against terrorism, the establishment of a new system of international security and cooperation, and UN reforms.
Question: Will African problems be discussed?
Answer: In the course of the conversation the ministers are expected to discuss the topical problems of the African continent, including the situation in the Horn of Africa in the context of Eritrean-Ethiopian settlement. Russia has been consistently advocating the earliest possible unblocking of the complicated situation in relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia, convinced that restoring the atmosphere of good-neighborliness between these countries meets the vital interests of the peoples of the two states.
Figuring prominently in the talks will be issues related to the African Union's formation and a further deepening of the integration of the continent's countries with the aim of ensuring the sustainable development of Africa.
Question: What are the prospects for the development of Russian-Eritrean relations?
Answer: The ministers will discuss the state of, and ways for intensifying bilateral ties, including those in the political, commercial, economic and other fields. In relations between the Russian Federation and the State of Eritrea there is quite a good potential; in particular there are the prospects for cooperation in such areas as geology, fisheries, health care, and education.
April 12, 2005