Policy of the Government of Eritrea Regarding Developments in Syria
It is indisputable that inquest prevails regarding what Eritrea’s stand on developments in Syria looks like, and whether it would support the adoption of resolutions by the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly.
The Eritrean government’s standpoint on developments in Syria is as follows:
The good and bad facets of the relation between the Syrian and Eritrean people are unforgettable. Although one can say it is not a must that our policies should depend on history, it is nonetheless unfair or of lasting solution. After all, it is contrary to the political culture of the Eritrean government to take an exploitative and opportunistic stance based on bias emanating from current strategic considerations and the historical background of the two peoples.
When Syria supported the Eritrean armed struggle for Independence in line with the predisposition of Arab nationalism, it was taken as being positive. However, with the negative aspect of the tendency to brand the Eritrean liberation struggle as ‘constituting’ part of Arab nationalism, such assumptions was not acceptable as it runs counter to the fundamental tenets of the Eritrean people’s struggle for national liberation. It is well known that the Syrian ‘Baas’ entity, motivated by its political orientation, dared to provide all-round support to the so-called “Baatist Eritrean elements” who were after exploitative political motive, and thereby intervened in the Eritrean armed struggle to the extent of instigating war between the freedom fighters.
When the Eritrean armed struggle for independence culminated in victory keeping its correct path, the people and Government of Eritrea, contrary to the attitude of vengeance, demonstrated the commitment to pave the way for constructive engagement with those circles that manifested hostile attitude to the Eritrean armed struggle in various ways. Although the Syrian ‘Baas’ government had no option other than accepting the objective reality, it nonetheless did not refrain from maintaining its negative stances in various Arab meetings under the pretext of “Arabism” and alleging that “Eritrea has established relations with Israel.”
In the face of such historical truth, the Government of Eritrea continued to exert unremitting efforts to establish constructive bilateral relations free from feelings of retribution. Even after the onset of the latest developments, the Eritrean government, in line with its domestic issues and without being influenced by the stand of other parties, did not opt for adopting partisan attitude. Eritrea’s fundamental policy orientation is anchored on legality and justice, besides opposing direct external military interference or aggression. However, this does not mean that it has no independent viewpoint. Even at a time when Eritrea is currently encountering diplomatic campaigns, be it by the Syrian regime or supporters of the opposition, for support, the Eritrean Government, refraining from Machiavellian intrigue and narrow strategic consideration, would not adopt middle standpoint.
At a time when Eritrean sovereign territory is under occupation in gross violation of the supremacy of law and international agreements, as well as the nation being subjected to illegal and unjust sanction under the guise of “human rights violation,” under what logic could those forces who used to historically stand against justice and Eritrean national security ask for “support?”
Even though these are the facts regarding the historical background regarding bilateral relations or developments in Syria, the Eritrean government’s stance is not subject to sale; nor is it open for barter. By the same token, it is not designed to please or retaliate against this or that party. Likewise, the party seeking to know the Eritrean government’s stance as regards current developments in Syria should bear in mind that Government of Eritrea is not after temporary strategic advantage.