Eritrea arrest Egyptian fishermen
05 February 2020: Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry affirmed to his Eritrean counterpart Osman Saleh Mohammed Egypt’s keenness on releasing fishermen held in Eritrea as quickly as possible.
During a phone call, Wednesday Shoukry and Saleh discussed the situation of the Egyptian fishermen, as Shoukry emphasized Egypt’s interest in ensuring their safety and well treatment.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said that Shoukry directed the Egyptian embassy in Asmara to intensify efforts, follow up with all developments related to the detained fishermen and to coordinate with the Eritrean authorities regarding procedures for their repatriation.
According to the fishermen’s relatives and friends, they were detained near the Eritrean coast since nearly a month, and their never heard from them anything since then.
On January, Egypt’s Immigration Ministry urged fishermen to immediately stop accessing economic waters of other countries, after many Egyptian fishing boats have been seized in Tunisia and other neighboring countries over illegal fishing.
The ministry said the state’s authorities are working to avoid fishermen from accessing other nations’ territorial waters, out of respect to its international and legal commitments and its keenness to protect Egyptian fishermen.
The ministry said relatives of 61 fishermen from Kafr El-Sheikh in northern Egypt have asked the ministry for help as the fishermen have been held in Tunisian Sfax port for three weeks.
Eritrean Navy have been known internationally to have zero tolerance to any illegal foreign fishermen entering its water territory.