UN Security Council mulls lifting Eritrea sanctions

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-11 01:05:15|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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UNITED NATIONS, July 10 (Xinhua) -- The Security Council will be discussing the lifting of sanctions against Eritrea given its agreement with Ethiopia to end their "state of war," diplomats said Tuesday.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, whose country holds the presidency of the Security Council for July, said she hoped the lifting of sanctions against the Horn of Africa country will "happen shortly."

"I join the (UN) secretary-general, who says if the reasons for introducing sanctions are removed, then also the sanctions of course could be removed," Wallstrom, who was at UN headquarters to chair a Security Council debate, told reporters.

Asked how soon the sanctions could be lifted, she said: "We are looking at that -- whether we can even introduce it as quickly as possible during our presidency (within July) or what will be the right time. We will have to check what is happening on the ground."

She expressed the hope that the Security Council could make a decision with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres returning from Addis Ababa on Tuesday with fresh impression of the situation on the ground.

She said the lifting of sanctions against Eritrea would be "fantastic." "It means something for the whole Horn of Africa region," she said.

Dutch ambassador to the United Nations, Karel van Oosterom, also confirmed on Tuesday that there might be discussions at the Security Council about the lifting of sanctions against Eritrea.

Swedish UN ambassador Olof Skoog told his EU colleagues at the Security Council on Tuesday that his country was in contact with both Ethiopia and Eritrea, according to van Oosterom.

The Security Council imposed sanctions in 2009 on Eritrea, including an arms embargo, for its destabilizing role in neighboring countries.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Monday handed a letter to Guterres in Addis Ababa, requesting the lifting of sanctions against Eritrea. Guterres said the sanctions will naturally become obsolete if the reasons that led to them no longer exist.

Ethiopia and Eritrea declared on Monday that they will end hostilities and return to peace.