With all of its neighbours having been involved in conflict, he said his country had attempted to maintain peace, but in June 2008, he said it was dragged into a border conflict with Eritrea. Since that time and despite Security Council resolutions, Eritrea refused to provide any knowledge of 19 Djiboutian prisoners of war, continuing a grave source of concern for his country. Despite that country’s defiance of those resolutions, he was convinced that mediation was the only way to achieve a lasting peace. For that reason, he welcomed the efforts of the Emir of Qatar to station troops in the conflicted areas, leading to the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from the areas that they occupied.
“We will never stop believing in the virtues of dialogue and mediation,” he said, noting that such activity had recently borne fruit in the birth of South Sudan, which he welcomed to the region. He contrasted that event with the situation of Palestinians, which he said continued to live under occupation that he called unsustainable, and likened it to the situation that his country had fought against in its own case. The time had come, he maintained, to give hope to Palestinians by recognizing them as a full-fledged State. History would remember this session if their hopes were allowed to come to fruition.