On July 8, a new round of the ‘EU-Eritrea Article 8 Political Dialogue’ was held in the premises of the EU Delegation in Asmara. The meeting took place in a ‘hybrid setting’, which enabled several Member States who are not residing permanently in Asmara to attend the session together with colleagues in EU Headquarters in Brussels. Besides the Ambassadors of France, Germany and Italy present in the room, nine further Member State Embassies joined via video link (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden). The EU side was chaired by the EU Ambassador. The Eritrean Delegation was led by Yemane Gebreab, the President’s Political Advisor and included senior representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The discussion revolved mostly around the conflict in Tigray, its assessment and implications. It also outlined expectations and concerns in terms of the way forward regarding both the conflict and more broadly, the region, as a whole. On the agenda were also the evaluation of the current state of EU-Eritrea relationship and its perspective, as well as risks posed by the Covid pandemic and its handling by the Government. The meeting was open and interactive, and produced substantive discussions between the parties.