Response from the Eritrean Embassy

The Embassy of the State of Eritrea is pleased to request you its right of response to the statement posted on your website on 23-09-2004 under the heading, ”Eritreans snub Freivalds in New York”.

The statement, ”the UN Representatives from Eritrea have declined to meet Sweden’s Foreign Minister, Laila Freivalds ….,” was erroneous. In fact, H.E. Mr. Ali Said Abdella, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Eritrea had indeed informally met and chatted with H..E. Mrs Freivalds, Swedish Foreign Minister, at the reception hosted by the UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan and Her Excellency didn’t raise or mention to him of any meeting plan.  

The Embassy would also like to make it clear that the Eritrean Mission in New York or the Eritrean Delegation currently attending the 59th Session of the UN General Assembly has never been approached or requested for such meeting with Her Excellency to this date.

Furthermore, the Embassy would like to take this opportunity to clarify to the Swedish public through your website and Swedish Radio that Dawit Isaak, an Eritrean national, was born, brought-up and educated in Eritrea.  He voluntarily returned home for good from Sweden (where he stayed temporarily) after the independence of Eritrea. 

It is understood that anybody who commits a crime is legally responsible to the laws of the nation.  In the same way, Mr. Dawit Isaak, Eritrean by birth, is suspected of a national security crime and is now in detention. His case is under investigation.  Any involvement in his case by any foreign country or foreign agents is against Vienna Convention and hence, an interference into Eritrea’s internal affairs.  The motive behind the involvement on the issue of Dawit Isaak by some destabilizing agents and the continuous harassment by the media and very few Swedish individuals is not clear to Eritrea.

Embassy of the State of Eritrea
Stockholm, Sweden
24 september, 2004

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