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(IGAD – Djibouti) A delegation composed of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kenya Hon. Moses Wetangula; the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sudan Hon. Deng Alor; and the Executive Secretary of IGAD Eng. Mahboub Malalim, accompanied by senior officials in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Kenya and Sudan, and the IGAD Secretariat, at the invitation of the Eritrean government made an official visit to Eritrea on the 14th to 15th August 2008.

The delegation met with His Excellency President Isias Afewarki and reviewed the security situation in the region, and Eritrea’s suspension of its membership in IGAD. President Afewarki briefed the delegation on the reasons that led to Eritrea’s decision to suspend its membership in IGAD. He reiterated Eritrea’s continued commitment to the integration of the region. He emphasised the point that IGAD must be restructured so that it can be a strong vehicle for integration. He further reiterated Eritrea’s commitment to continue being engaged with IGAD. He thus designated Hon. Arefaine Berhe Minister of Agriculture of Eritrea, to be the focal person to deal with IGAD matters.

Speaking separately, Hon. Moses Wetangula and Hon. Alor Deng, and Eng. Mahboub Maalim thanked the President for agreeing to meet with the delegation. They informed the President that the process of restructuring IGAD has started. Eng. Mahboub informed the President that the restructuring of IGAD had been ordered by the last Summit of the Heads of State of IGAD. So in effect what the President was saying was in line with the Summit decision. He promised the President that Eritrea will be part and parcel of the restructuring process of IGAD, and reiterated IGAD’s continued engagement with Eritrea.

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