Jeddah brings together presidents of Eritrea and Djibouti at a historic reconciliation summit

Djibouti President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh and his Eritrean counterpart Isaias Afwerki met in Jeddah. (SPA)
Updated 18 September 2018
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Jeddah brings together presidents of Eritrea and Djibouti at a historic reconciliation summit

  • Djibouti President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh of Djibouti and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki met upon the invitation of Saudi King Salman
  • Eritrea and Djibouti have been at loggerheads for decades over a long-standing border dispute

JEDDAH: Leaders of Eritrea and Djibouti met in Saudi Arabia on Monday for historic talks a decade after a border conflict strained ties.
Presidents Ismaïl Omar Guelleh of Djibouti and Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea shook hands as they met upon the invitation of the Saudi leadership.
Dr. Essam bin Saad bin Said, minister of state and member of the Saudi Council of Ministers, and the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir attended the meeting.
Both presidents expressed gratitude for King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for facilitating the meeting, which opens a new chapter for relations between the neighbors.
The two nations have been at loggerheads for decades over a long-standing border dispute.
“There is a wind of hope blowing in the Horn of Africa,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who attended the signing of a historic peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
Saudi Arabia and its ally the United Arab Emirates are helping broker peace in the region, in a sign of the growing importance the Gulf nations put on east Africa as they battle Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Dozens of commercial vessels transit daily through the Bab Al-Mandeb waterway, a crucial shipping lane between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa.
Houthi rebels have launched a number of attacks on ships during the Yemeni conflict.


Saudi Arabia urges global community to deter maritime trade disruptions

Updated 25 min 19 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia urges global community to deter maritime trade disruptions

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday that Iran’s interception of commercial vessels, including its seizure of a British tanker, in Gulf waters was a violation of international law and urged the global community to deter such actions.
“Any disruption of the freedom of international maritime traffic is considered a violation of international law and the international community must do what is necessary to reject it and deter it,” the Saudi cabinet said in a statement carried on state media.
Iran said on Friday it had seized Britain’s Stena Impero tanker, which had been heading to a port in Saudi Arabia and suddenly changed course after passing through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf.
Britain described the seizure as an act of “state piracy” and called for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the world’s most important oil artery.