The visit to Eritrea’s capital Asmara by an African Union (AU) High Level delegation has been postponed, according to a statement from the pan-African bloc on Monday.
‘‘At the request of the Eritrean authorities and due to a conflicting calendar, new dates will be agreed upon through consultations with the Eritrean government,’‘ a statement by the continental political bloc read.
The chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat announced on July 3 during the 29th AU summit that the high-level delegation led by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, would travel to the Horn of African nation.
AFP news agency reports that Asmara refused to entertain an earlier A.U. delegation stating that they still recognized Qatar as a mediator in the border tensions that led to clashes in 2008. Eritrea has also debunked assertions that it had backed Saudi and its allies in the diplomatic crisis that has isolated Qatar in the Gulf region.
About a week ago, Djibouti’s foreign affairs minister formally requested the A.U. to deploy observers along its disputed border with Eritrea after Qatar withdrew its peace-keeping troops two weeks ago.
“The Qatari forces left on short notice without really preparing the ground. Leaving the status quo was not in the best interest of both countries,” Djiboutian Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf told Reuters during a summit of African Union leaders in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
“We proposed to the African Union that it take over the disputed side and fill the gap. We need the African Union to act very quickly,” Youssouf said.
At the request of the Eritrean authorities and due to a conflicting calendar, new dates will be agreed upon through consultations with the Eritrean government, said the statement.
The chairperson of the AU Commission has reiterated his determination to spare no effort in promoting dialogue, peace and security in the Horn of Africa, the statement added.