Radio Erena: 28 January 2015
President Isaias’ decision to not partake in the funeral ceremony of the late Saudi Arabian King Abdela is a clear indication of the frail relationship between Eritrea and Saudi Arabia, said Eritrean diplomats in exile.
The diplomats called the presidents decision not to attend the funeral of the Saudi King unlike many other regional and international leaders, a missed opportunity. The president, however, sent a ‘Letter of Condolences’ to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, noted the diplomats.
The diplomats also recalled that President Isaias didn’t attend, nor did he send a diplomatic delegation to attend in the funeral of the late King Fahad in 2005. They warned these decisions would have a negative impact on the relationship between the two countries.
The diplomats, however, indicated that the president had sent Mr. Alhamin Mohamed Seid – the Chairman of the PFDJ to attend King Fahad’s funeral in 2005 and that it defied the general diplomatic protocol.
It was further underlined that President Isaias had only made two official visits to Saudi Arabia in the last 24 years since Eritrea’s independence and this attests the fragile relations between the two nations.
While the Eritrean leader could make over 10 official visits to Qatar, he only visited Eritrea’s Red Sea bordering nation of Saudi Arabia only twice – that was in 1997 and 2007.
It is to be recalled, in an interview he gave to Radio Erena, Ambassador Fetih Osman Ahmed – a former diplomat currently in exile who had served in various counselor positions at the Eritrean embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the last nine years, confirmed of the damaged relations between the two nations.