Massawa, 15 February 2010 – In an interview with the  Gulf News and Khartoum Monitor newspapers, President Isaias Afwerki said that the Eritrean people’s noble culture and values, coupled with the Government’s strict and transparent handling of the corruption issue have enabled the nation to be free of the malaise that is common in a number of countries.

The President explained that as a result of corruption, the resources of many countries are only serving the vested interest of  a handful of officials and foreigners at the expense of the majority of the indigenous population.  In this respect, he pointed out that Eritrea has been and continues to strive to uproot corruption since the days of the armed struggle so that endeavors to ensure a bright future may not be undermined. And as such, it has succeeded to attain the set goal, he elucidated. President Isaias went on to say that on top of combating corruption, the Eritrean people’s morality and cherished values have equally made due contribution in creating corruption-free environment.

As regards the issue of corruption in South Sudan to which he referred to on previous occasions, the President stated that as genuine friends,  Eritrea’s serious concern about corruption there should be viewed within this framework.

Replying to question as to why he doesn’t send his children abroad for education as do other leaders in Africa and elsewhere,  President Isaias noted that access to education in other parts of the world is a privilege enjoyed by the rich, while in Eritrea every citizen is entitled to educational opportunity. “As such, my children are pursuing education in their country as they are not different from fellow nationals,” he elaborated.

Concerning Eritrea’s relations with neighboring countries and the Arab world, the President underlined that good neighborliness, mutual cooperation and respect constitute the sole reliable means towards ensuring common interest and development. In line with this principle, Eritrea has been and is still striving to enhance relations with the Arab countries and those in the Horn region, he added. On the contrary, President Isaias underscored that those countries that do not uphold such a policy continue to weave conspiracies with a view to undermining stability and cooperation.