February 26, 2007
There was an opening ceremony and a press briefing by Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, President of Somalia; Ali Abdullah Saleh, President of Yemen; Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Umar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, President of Sudan.
Nothing very newsy came out of it - mutual cooperation etc etc. At the end of the day, one of the most interesting things about it all was the decor.
There was this stuffed lion mounted on a piano in the throne room. Next door in the reception hall there was another stuffed lioness, two elephant's feet doubling up as whisky decanter holders, lots of gilt, lots of carved ivory and, in the next room after that, a tiger skin, complete with roaring head. Presumably they were all from the collection of the last Emperor - or do visiting heads of state still hand out this kind of stuff? See Flickr for more shots.
And here's a quick quiz. Below are the first two questions asked at today's press conference. A huge prize to the first person who can say which one was asked by a state-controlled journalist from a state-controlled news organisation (from Sudan) and which one wasn't.
Q1: This Sanaa Forum, this Cooperation Forum, if we give it a geographical look, or geopolitical look, to what extent do you expect it to give a model to our sub-region of Afro-Arab cooperation?
Q2: To the President of Sudan, what is halting the deployment of a UN peace force in Darfur?
Posted by aheavens at February 26, 2007 2:05 PM