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Quotes Of The Month

A diplomat willing to serve as Israel’s ambassador to Eritrea is yet to be found! 

 

“They spend their lives living in places like Rome, Paris, Buenos Aires and Beijing. They spend their days shaking hands and smiling, and their evenings drinking wine with influential folk from all walks of life. They eat regularly at the best restaurants a country has to offer… The life of an ambassador – regular parties, good pay, superb benefits – is seductive to many. But Israeli diplomats seem to have found one exception to the rule: Eritrea.”

 

The Media Line reporting on the Jewish State’s dilemma with the vacancy in Asmara that no one wants to fill.

 

 

 

“It’s not clear to me what’s going on. For the last one or two years Israel has been without an ambassador. The Israelis are telling me they can’t find someone but I can’t understand why.”

 

Tesfamariam Tekeste [Wedi Bashai], Eritrea’s ambassador to Israel, talking to The Media Line.  

 

“It’s always difficult to find people for hardship countries, and Eritrea is a hardship country, believe me. When you wake up every morning and you don’t know if you’ll have electricity or water, that’s a hardship country.”

 

Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, talking to The Media Line.  

 

Debt collectors knocking 

 

“The decision of the Company in obtaining an arbitration award through the Court of Arbitration in London … aims to preserve our rights and force both Petroleum Corporation of Eritrea (PCE) and the State of Eritrea to immediately pay the due amounts.”

 

Statement by Independent Petroleum Corporation (IPG), which seems to be in no mood for trusting the PFDJ government with repayment of more than 66 million US dollars, the value of 11-years worth of borrowed petroleum products 

 

Colonel Ezra on quality education 

 

“The Sawa National Training and Education Center is creating conducive ground for the teaching-learning process thanks to the putting in place of the necessary infrastructure facilities and equipments.” According to Shabait, the good colonel explained that “impressive achievements are being scored in nurturing dynamic and productive youths equipped with the necessary knowledge and skill.”

 

Col. Ezra Woldegebreal, Commander of Sawa. 

 

A journalist’s sojourn inside ‘insular and secretive Eritrea’ 

 

“The manager of a café told me his regulars included security agents who sat eavesdropping on conversations. I was warned there were informers on every corner.”

 

The Financial TimesBarney Jopson in his Letter from Eritrea 

 

“On the streets of Asmara, it did not take long to identify the single least popular government programme: compulsory military service. A year and a half of national service is mandatory for men and women and it begins with six months at Sawa, a desolate training camp where teenagers are levered out of bed at 4am and put through gruelling military drills, while also having to prepare for their high school exams.”

 

Barney Jopson, Letter from Eritrea
        
(The above must be what Ezra meant by ‘conducive environment for learning’) 

 

“By withdrawing licences from private businesses, making farmers sell produce to the state at fixed prices, maintaining a monopoly on imports and dictating how the country’s scant dollar reserves are used, the regime is strangling wealth creation. Eritrea suffers from shortages of everything from diesel and tea to batteries and flour.”

 

Barney Jopson, Letter from Eritrea 

 

“’The self-reliance philosophy is admirable,’ said the diplomat, ‘but they’ve taken it to an illogical extreme where it becomes self-defeating.’”

 

Barney Jopson, Letter from Eritrea

 

 

 

“People in Europe have not even participated in the politics. … Every citizen in this country participates in what happens in the life of this country.”

 

Isaias Afwerki, the ‘intense, abrasive man with a sheriff’s moustache’, talking to Jopson

 

 

 

 

 

And if you are a fun of digestive disorders go to the full ‘breakfast for a road’ interview with the man also known as Little Kim.

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