Sunday, 15 April 2018

Saddam and High-Ranking Officials Discussing Khomeini, the Ethiopian-Eritrean conflict, 1979


February 20, 1979 
Saddam and High-Ranking Officials Discussing Khomeini, the Ethiopian-Eritrean conflict, the Potential for Kurdish Unrest, and the Iranian Economy

 من محضر اجتماع عقد يوم ٢٠ فبراير١٩٧٩ حضره صدام حسين ومسؤولين عراقيين رفيعي المستوى يناقشون الخميني والصراع الإثيوبي الإريتري واحتمال الاضطرابات الكردية والاقتصاد الإيراني، وتقيمهم للثورة الارترية

Saddam Hussein: Of course, the Eritrean revolution has become weaker than its previous state. When Ethiopia was preoccupied with Ogaden [An Ethiopian region that was the subject of conflict between Ethiopia and Somalia] in Somalia and when Somalia failed to provide quick advice to the Eritreans, we told them [the Eritreans] before they rearrange themselves and since they have not recovered yet from the events [inaudible], as an assessment of them in this phase. But they did not listen and continued in their ways. We do not expect the Eritrean revolution to end in a complete victory or full retreat in a short time because it became a part of the international equation [dynamic] with different parties, ethnic groups, and trends fighting each other. We do not have something intrinsic in our analysis to our stance or position, but it can be summarized by saying that their position is weaker than before. They are not expected to achieve victory in a short period or to be defeated in a short period because it has become a part of the international equation. What makes it easier on them, of course, is that the discussions have become broader, where their position is based on the Soviet weight in Ethiopia. Now, Africa and the events in Iran have become more interesting than Eritrea for the Soviet Union, which is more interested now in events in Indochina than Eritrea. This is an issue that depends on the orientations, interests, and points that have priority in the agenda. Sure, the Soviet weight is going to ease on Eritreans through Ethiopia, but I do not believe that the Eritreans are capable of achieving an imminent victory or have the power to defeat them soon. But their position is weaker than before. Comrade Sa'doun, do you have other remarks about this subject, the subject of Eritrea?

http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111640.pdf?v=6257a46767ae41aa93c55ad31ce99a09