U.S.- Eritrea Relations

  1. U.S.- Eritrea Relations
  2. History of the U.S. and Eritrea

The United States established diplomatic relations with Eritrea in 1993, following its independence and separation from Ethiopia. The United States supported Eritrea’s independence, but ongoing government detention of political dissidents and others, the closure of the independent press, limits on civil liberties, allegations of human rights abuses, and the expulsion of some U.S. government agencies have contributed to strained U.S.-Eritrean relations. Eritrea’s authoritarian regime is controlled entirely by the president, who heads the sole political party, which has ruled the country since 1991. National elections have not taken place since 1991 and the constitution has not been implemented. Regionally, Eritrea has long-standing border disputes with Ethiopia and Djibouti that, in the past, turned violent. Eritrea remains subject to two UN Security Council sanctions resolutions which impose an arms embargo, and restrict the travel of some individuals and freeze their assets.

U.S. interests in Eritrea include reconciling ongoing disputes with Ethiopia and Djibouti, urging progress toward a democratic political culture, citing and addressing human rights issues, promoting economic reform, and encouraging Eritrea to contribute to regional stability.

U.S. Assistance to Eritrea

At the Eritrean Government’s request, the United States no longer provides bilateral assistance to Eritrea. The United States has no military-to-military cooperation with Eritrea.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The Eritrean Government and ruling party control the economy. The United States and Eritrea have very little bilateral trade. Eritrea is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, which has a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with the United States.

Eritrea’s Membership in International Organizations

Eritrea and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Bilateral Representation

There currently is no U.S. Ambassador to Eritrea; the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires is Natalie E. Brown. Other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List (PDF 420 KB).

Eritrea maintains an embassy in the United States at 1708 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20009 (tel. 202-319-1991), and is represented by a Chargé d’Affaires and not an ambassador to the United States.