Radio Erena: 14 May 2015
Many diplomats in Eritrea describe Eritrea’s relations with Saudi Arabia as rough, based on the lacking local media coverage for President Isaias’ recent two-day-visit to the Kingdom.
President Isaias was invited by King Salman of Saudi Arabia for an official visit to discuss on the Yemeni crisis on the 29th April. He was given a warm welcome by the Kingdom, which was covered by many media outlets in the Middle East. However, the government-run Eritrean news media hasn’t given enough coverage on the tour except for a regular news story.
As a result, diplomats who have been contacted by Radio Erena say the relations between the two countries remain to be bumpy.
It is to be remembered that the Eritrean government has cleared its stand on the Saudi-led airstrike in Yemen saying it doesn’t support any foreign intervention, while most of the Red Sea bordering countries have given their support.
Saudi Arabia suspects that the Yemen’s opposition faction of Huthis-backing Iran may have a military base in Eritrea. Based on this, following President Isaias Afwerki’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Saudi and United Arab Emirates’ representatives have been reported to make visits to the Eritrean port city of Assabe and neighboring islands.