UNITED NATIONS - Eritrea has asked the UN Security Council to lift sanctions against it after a recent UN experts' report showed that the tiny east African state had cut its support for the al-Qaida-allied al Shabaab militant group in Somalia.

But in a letter released on Monday, Eritrea also slammed the report - which probes violations of arms embargoes on Eritrea and Somalia - for "falsely accusing the government of Eritrea for violations that are not substantiated with solid evidence."

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The Security Council imposed an embargo on Eritrea in 2009 over concerns its government was funding and arming al Shabaab - charges Asmara denied. The UN experts' report released in July said that support has evaporated.


Eritrea responded in the letter to the 15-member council, dated Sept. 27, saying sanctions should be removed as "the initial and principal accusation concerning Eritrean support to al Shabaab has now proven to be non-existent."