PRETORIA, April 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Eritrea on Friday blasted international media for attempts to tarnish its image and for claims the country was banned from attending the EU-Africa summit in Brussels this month.
“Despite all false information, manufactured lies and blackmailing depicted in the media by some bad wishing quarters to tarnish the image of Eritrea repeatedly, that Eritrea was banned from attending the Summit proved wrong by the attendance of the Eritrean delegation led by Osman Saleh, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Eritrea,” said a statement emailed to ITAR-TASS bureau by Eritrean Ambassador to South Africa, Salih Omar Abdu.
He said President Isaias Afwerki was invited but was unable to take part "due to other pre-scheduled engagements."
EU Ambassador to South Africa, Roeland Van de Geer, admitted that media reports were so numerous that the EU initially thought it might have forgotten to invite the leader of Eritrea.
The summit in Brussels was boycotted by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. South African President Jacob Zuma sent his foreign minister instead of him.
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir did not attend either.