The Fact and Fiction in Eritrea’s Middle East Policy

Mürsel Bayram


This paper aims to investigate how the small African state of Eritrea manages its relations with the seemingly rival Middle Eastern states of Israel, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Whether Eritrea pursues a consistent Middle East policy or simply employs utilitarian survival methods is suited to problematisation and can be answered with an intentive analysis. However, there is too much speculation on Eritrea’s involvements in regional affairs and its putative military base diplomacy with the leading Middle Eastern states. The country’s role in the recent civil war of Yemen is particularly controversial. Since most of those speculations are disaffirmed by the Government of Eritrea, there is a need to scrutinise the factual and fictional aspects of Eritrea’s relations with the Middle Eastern states.

Keywords: Eritrea, Horn of Africa, Middle East, Israel, Iran, Gulf states

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