Spokesperson of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, H.E. Ambassador Dina Mufti, gave the Ministry’s biweekly press briefing today (October 28)to the media on major diplomatic activities over the week. The diplomatic activities focus on the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen’s meeting with EU officials and ambassadors and Ethiopia’s position regarding the current situation in Sudan.
I. Political Diplomacy
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, had a meeting on Monday (October 25) with H.E. Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnership of the European Union Commission, and H.E. Dr. Annette Weber, the European Union Special Representative for the Horn of Africa. On this occasion Mr. Demeke,
• Expressed Ethiopia’s commitment to give unfettered access to humanitarian assistance by mentioning significant measures taken by the government in this regard.
• Noted efforts being undertaken by the Attorney General’s office and the joint international investigation over alleged crimes and underscored the government’s policy of zero-tolerance for any human rights violation in the country.
• Said the government of Ethiopia is undertaking its economic and political transformation while fighting the destructive acts of the TPLF clique, he said. He also expressed his expectations of support from the EU for the country’s reform programs.
• Highlighted the formation of a new government comprising three leaders of opposition parties that ushered in an era of a new political culture in the country.
• Appreciated the EU’s support shown to Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo’s mediation efforts
• Spoke in detail about the government’s roadmap to resume an all-inclusive national dialogue in the country.
• Urged the European Union to extend its Airbridge Humanitarian support to affected people in the Amhara region.
• Called on the EU to condemn the TPLF for its transgression and pressure the group to immediately withdraw its soldiers from occupied areas in the Amhara region.
• He finally said it is high time for the two sides to initiate the next round of political consultation mechanisms and create understanding and normalize relations.
Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen, on her part,
• Congratulated the government of Ethiopia upon the successfully held elections asking for the new government’s perspective in handling issues of governance and security in the post-election period.
• Recalled the strategic partnership between Ethiopia and the EU, she said the Union is planning to resume its strategic partnership and support the reform agenda of the government of Ethiopia.
• She said, the European Union is ready to support the Ethiopian government in issues, in particular, related to climate, energy, human development, health, Covid-19, good governance, and private sector development, she added.
• She also tabled the EU’s concerns, including the need to have an all-inclusive dialogue among political figures, unfettered access to humanitarian supply, independent investigation of human rights violations, and the need to hold perpetrators to account.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H.E. Demeke Mekonnen had a meeting Monday (October 25) with Ambassadors of France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, and Slovakia in Ethiopia, for a briefing on the northern part of the country. He thanked them for their bilateral support and understanding as members of the European Union. He also expressed Ethiopia’s disappointment over the silence of the EU in the face of massive belligerence, murder, and destruction of civilians in Afar and Amhara regions by the Tplf. Mr. Demeke also highlighted Ethiopia’s commitment to unfettered access for humanitarian assistance in Tigray with measures, such as reduced checkpoints and continued humanitarian flights to the region.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H.E. Demeke Mekonnen welcomed Archbishops of the North American Dioceses of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church on Monday (October 25) to his office. The objective of the visit of the Archbishops was to discuss the current situation in the country and point out areas of cooperation between the government and the church in such challenging times. They have requested the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to help them get all the necessary information that can help them advance their country’s cause in relevant government institutions in North America. Mr. Demeke, for his part, briefed them on the main challenges posed by the TPLF against the interests of Ethiopia and the people of Ethiopia. He also underscored that Ethiopians from all walks of life should unite and cooperate in fighting the enemy. The church leaders came from Atlanta, Georgia, New York, Colorado, South California, Washington DC, Seattle, Minnesota, and Canada.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen received on Friday (October 22), Dr. Annette Weber, European Union (EU) Special Representative for the Horn of Africa at his office. The two had discussions over the situation in the northern part of Ethiopia and ways of giving renewed impetus to the relationships between Ethiopia and the EU. Mr. Demeke explained the destructive acts of the TPLF in the neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions that blockaded aid from reaching people in occupied territories. The special envoy, for her part, appreciated the government’s initiative to ease up the challenges that the country is facing right now. She further expressed the Keen interest of the European Union to scale up relationships with Ethiopia.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H.E. Demeke Mekonnen met UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees (Operations) H.E. Rauf Mazou on Friday (October 22) at his office. The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister briefed Mr. Rauf Mazou on the current status of refugees in Ethiopia, including the dramatic increments of internally displaced people due to the actions of the TPLF. He expressed concerns over the activities of some of the Ethiopian refugees in Sudanese camps who exploited their refugee status to escape responsibility for the crimes that they committed in Ethiopia and to resume their assaults on the country. The High Commissioner noted Mr. Demeke’s concern and pledged to cooperate with the government to address the issues and further share responsibilities in supporting refugees in Ethiopia.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E.Demeke Mekonnen, had participated on Tuesday (October 26) in a ceremony held in Addis Ababa to mark United Nations Day. In addressing the Gathering, Mr. Demeke underscored Ethiopia’s commitment to value the UN Charter and pledged to continue supporting the multifaceted activities that the UN is undertaking in Ethiopia. Mr. Demeke also highlighted efforts of the Ethiopian government to create understanding between Ethiopia and the UN regarding current situations in the country.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, had received and discussed with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, H.E. Mr. Peter Morer. The ICRC President thanked the government of Ethiopia for supporting the activities of the organization. He also asked for access to more cash and fuel and licenses for flights for its operations in Tigray. Mr. Demeke appreciated the ICRC for undertaking its duties independently and neutrally. Given such a non-interference policy of the organization in the internal affairs of any country, Mr. Demeke said the government of Ethiopia will consider the organization’s quests to facilitate its humanitarian operations.
H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, received the credentials of H.E. Mamadou Dian Balde, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, Representative in Ethiopia. The two sides vowed to strengthen cooperation and closely work with relevant bodies to register better results.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia has issued a statement over the week regarding the Airstrike that was conducted by Ethiopian Air Force in Mekelle on October 23 and the aborted UN plane landing in Mekelle. The statement says, the target was a former ENDF military base, now a training base and a battle network hub of the TPLF. Contrary to what media outlets claim, the plane was denied to land in Mekelle Airport which is under the Tplf control, although the flight was licensed by the government of Ethiopia. As UN spokesman Stephanie Dujarric reportedly said too, the planes had been cleared by federal authorities but received instructions to abort landing by the Mekelle airport control tower.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) organized a Ministerial Conference in the presence of Ministers, Ambassadors of IGAD member states, and representatives of International Organizations on Thursday (October 21, 2021). The conference aimed to create a viable platform to deliberate on effective actions and regional coordination mechanisms to enhance the governance of labor, employment, and labor migration. Ethiopia’s Ambassador in Djibouti, H.E. Ambassador Berhanu participated in the meeting and underscored the need to have a regionally harmonized policy and guideline to enhance the working conditions of overseas migrant workers from each member state.
The Director-General of Protocol Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Mr. Feysel Alie, received on Tuesday (October 26) a copy of the credentials of the new ambassador of the Republic of Malawi to Ethiopia, H.E. Charles Peter and ambassador of Italy to Ethiopia, H.E. Agostino Palese. Mr. Feysel briefed the ambassadors on the current situation in Ethiopia and pledged to extend all the necessary support to them during their stay in Ethiopia.
II. On Sudan
The government of Ethiopia, via the office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia has issued two statements regarding the situation in Sudan. The Statement from the Prime Minister office, which was written in Arabic, expresses the Ethiopian Government’s confidence that Sudanese experience and wisdom will prevail in completing the entitlements of the Constitutional Document and the Juba Agreement for Sudanese Peace, in order to achieve the aspirations of the great Sudanese people in their relentless pursuit of a rich future.
The Statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on all parties for calm and de-escalation in the Sudan and to exert every effort towards a peaceful end to this crisis. In also supports the completion of Sudan’s transition to democracy and the respect for the Constitutional Document of the Transitional Period. The statement finally underlines the need for the respect of the sovereign aspirations of the people of the Sudan and the non-interference of external actors in the internal affairs of the Sudan.
III. Economic Diplomacy
State Minister, H.E. Ambassador Redwan Hussein, has met yesterday (October 27) Mr. Shell H.E. Choo, the CEO of a South Korean metal investment company, EKOS STEEL MLL PLC, based in Dukem. The two sides have discussed the opportunities and challenges of investing in Ethiopia, based, in particular, on the experience of the South Korean steel company in Ethiopia. The company has revealed its plans to host an exhibition of South Korean agricultural machinery products in Dukem in the upcoming November.
Ambassador Redwan Hussein appreciated the company’s investment activities in the manufacturing sector, which aligned with the government’s priority areas for developing the nation.
Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Djibouti, Mr. Birhanu Tsegaye, handed over 40,000 tree seedlings to the Djiboutian Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Mohamed Ahmed Awali last week. On this occasion, the Djiboutian Minister of Agriculture thanked the Ethiopian government and said the initiative would strengthen relations with positive impacts on environmental development in the region.
IV. Citizen centred Diplomacy
Ethiopians and people of Ethiopian origins living in Birmingham, Coventry, Stoke- on-Trent and Manchester in the United Kingdom have raised funds to help displaced people by condemning the terrorist attack on innocent people in the Amhara region. Ambassador of Ethiopia to the United Kingdom H.E. Teferi Melese described the current situation in Ethiopia to the community in detail and underscored the need to stand together to avert the evils of the TPLF. The chairpersons of the communities in each city, for their part, underscored that Ethiopians should be ready to share responsibilities with the government to face challenges and solve them. They pledged to continue their support and strengthen their respective associations.
V. Capacity Building
The second round of training given to the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its affiliated institutions on the undergoing institutional reform was concluded last Tuesday. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen said at the concluding ceremony, that diplomacy needs to be carried out in a comprehensive and coordinated manner in order to be effective. He called for the need to use the skills acquired during the training as a starting point and strive for better results while developing other current diplomatic knowledge.