By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
December 29, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) - Eritrea has dismissed reports alleging that the Red Sea nation has leased the port town of Assab to the United Arab Emirates.
Recently the Beirut based Arabic TV channel, Al-mayadeen reported that UAE has acquired a 30-year lease for military base in the port of Assab.
Asmara denied the report saying unfounded and deliberately aimed to tarnish image of the country.
Eritrea’s ministry of information accused the TV channel of broadcasting a speculative news "in a highly dramatized manner and without rudimentary verification"
The ministry said this is not the first time for Al-mayadeen to broadcast "false reports"
In June, the ministry said the TV channel has reported that Israel has completed the construction of its largest listening post in Eritrea’s Emba-Sora area to monitor maritime movements in the Babel-el Mendeb and eavesdrop on Iran.
"The TV channel was then requested by Eritrea to explain its sources rectify the false news, and desist from unwittingly serving as a gullible mouth piece for sinister forces who harbour hostile agendas against Eritrea" the ministry added.
But it said failed to respond in accordance.
Eritrea’s opposition officials here in Addis Ababa on Thursday told Sudan Tribune that the UAE navy has rented port Assab for three decades at a cost of around $ 500 million, an allegation Asmara denies.
However a UN monitoring body previously has reported that the UAE and Saudi had leased the port town in a bid to boost their coalition battle against Houthis militants against Yemen.
The Ethiopian government had previously warned that Saudi and UAE would bear the consequence if the countries back Eritrea regime’s agenda in and around Assab port to destabilize Ethiopia.