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TALK TO AL JAZEERA
President Isaias Afewerki
The Eritrean president in a rare interview with al Jazeera's Jane Dutton.
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2010 18:07 GMT



Twenty years after the liberation from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Africa's youngest nation, has emerged as strategically vital to the stability of the region and the wider global agenda.

Eritrea is struggling to balance the needs of its people with the perceived threats to the nation.

Al Jazeera's Jane Dutton conducts a rare interview with Isaisas Afewerki, the president of Eritrea.

Al Jazeera confronted him with the allegations about Eritrea's ties with Iran, Hamas, al Shabab in Somalia and rebel groups in Sudan and Houthis in Yemen.

"This is a deliberate distortion of facts, where is the evidence, these are fabrications, where is your evidence?", he said.

"How possibly could one blame Eritrea for sympathising or supporting one group over another in Somalia we have never done that." he said. 

When asked about Eritrea's relation with Ethiopia today and the border dispute he said: "This border issue war was a senseless conflict instigated by the US.

"It is a cover up for the failures of the misguided policies of the United States in the horn of Africa for the last 20 years.

"It is not a problem with Ethiopia we have worked with these people for almost two decades to remove a government in Ethiopia, and we want to see a relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia based on mutual respect and common interest," he said.

"There is no presence for Iran in this region, Eritrea is not for sale, not for Iran, Israel, the United States or anybody," he said.

Talk to Al Jazeera can be seen from Saturday, February 20 at the following times GMT: 1130, 2230; Sunday: 0130 and 1900.                       

Source:
Al Jazeera
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