China's top diplomat arrives in Eritrean capital

Expert says China is giving attention to Horn of Africa after year of Tigray conflict.

China's top diplomat arrives in Eritrean capital

China's foreign minister arrived in Eritrea’s capital late Tuesday for a two-day official visit to the country.

Wang Yi and his delegation were received by Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and other senior government officials at Asmara International Airport.

"Meetings scheduled with his counterpart & President Isaias (Afwerki),” Information Minister Yemane Meskel said in a brief statement on Twitter.

"During his stay in Asmara, Mr. Wang Yi will meet and hold talks with President Isaias Afwerki and Foreign Minister Mr. Osman Saleh on strengthening bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest to the two countries," said a statement published on the Eritrean Information Ministry's official website.

Osman Mohamed, a retired Somali National Army colonel and regional expert, told Anadolu Agency that China’s attention towards the Horn of Africa region is "worth noting."

"China is maintaining a good relationship with all regional governments. Ethiopia for instance and also Kenya, where China has soft power and influence due to its investments," Mohamed said.

"Eritrea has been in isolation for many years now, but due to a proposed regional alliance between Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, you can see that things have changed dramatically.”

Eritrea has been accused of participating in the war against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in support of Addis Ababa, while a UN report also said that Somali military trainees in Eritrea crossed the border and participated in the Ethiopian conflict, which Mogadishu described as "rubbish and baseless" accusations.

In December last year, China's top diplomat was in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, where he announced that Ethiopia needs no foreign interference to resolve its internal conflict.

China, together with Russia and India, in November opposed sanctions against Ethiopia proposed by Ireland to the UN Security Council -- a move seconded by the US and other Western countries.