Picture: Sputnik/Taken May 31, 2023 – Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia. Afwerki visited Moscow from May 30 to June 3 at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss bilateral relations, as well as global and continental issues. In an exclusive interview with Sputnik Africa, Afwerki discusses Africa’s place in a multipolar world and how Eritrea sees its place in such a world.
By Muhammad Nooh Osman
The creation of new formats like BRICS is not only about challenging or fighting the West’s cycle of containment, interference, sanctions or hegemony, but also about creating a new world order for the future, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki told Sputnik Africa in an exclusive interview when asked about his thoughts on the emerging BRICS format and whether it is a promising format for economic cooperation.
The Eritrean leader emphasised the need to move beyond the challenges of the past 30 years and create an environment that allows everyone to grow and work together, while respecting international law and each other’s sovereignty.
“We need to get out of this cycle of containment, containment now, containment of Russia, the containment of China, the containment of Eritrea. Then punishment for this and that. Sanction here, sanction there. It’s not a question limited to facing the challenge. Facing the challenge is one thing, but what about beyond the challenge?” Afwerki argued.
“We have to prepare the ground for creating a new environment. That new environment will have to be there for everybody.”
According to Afwerki, the new world order that he describes “will enable everyone to make […] contributions, participate, cooperate, work together and respect each other and respect international law.”
President Afwerki believes that the existing hegemonic policies of containment and interference will not last. Instead, the world must come together to structure a global partnership conducive for future generations. He further expressed that consultations, bilateral, multilateral, and continental discussions are ongoing to arrive at an understanding, which will ultimately result in a new order for the world.
“This will end any time because there is no Nato. Nato will not survive, Nato will not be there. Other hegemonistic arrangements or groups will not prevail,” he said.
Furthermore, the Eritrean president said that the existing “global imbalance” has resulted in Africa remaining a marginalised Continent, despite its vast natural resources.
Afwerki stressed the need for Africa to extricate itself from its current situation and develop to a level where partnerships can be balanced. To achieve this goal, bilateral programmes need to be seen within a broader scope, addressing multilateral, global and continental issues.
“Without addressing these multilateral, global and continental issues, it wouldn’t make sense to have these bilateral programmes succeed,” Afwerki said. “So it has to be seen within a broader scope.”
He emphasised the importance of the partnership between Russia and each and every sovereign nation in Africa, adding that this partnership will create synergy out of cooperation programmes that will change the quality of life and enable African people to enjoy their resources by designing and implementing programmes for development.
President Afwerki stated that this growing partnership is “not an option” but a “necessity,” and everyone, including Moscow, realises this.
“It is very critical. It’s not an option. It’s a necessity as for now. This growing partnership between the Russian Federation and each and every sovereign nation in Africa, plus the collective approach of trying to find a broader ground for multilateral cooperation, where we may have a summit here in Moscow in the coming few weeks or two months so that these discussions will continue to see how possibly can the Russian Federation relate to the situation on the Continent,” Afwerki said.
The Eritrean president added that the upcoming Second Russia-Africa Summit, which will be held in St Petersburg in late July with the participation of all African heads of state and governments, could serve as a platform to discuss “how could governments and nations in Africa engage to promote this partnership that will change the quality of life and enable African peoples to enjoy the resources they have by designing and implementing programmes for development.”
This article was first published on Sputnik