The spokesperson of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, H.E. Ambassador Dina Mufti, gave the Ministry’s biweekly press briefing today (21October2021) to the media. In his presentation, the Ambassador focused on political diplomacy, in particular, the congratulatory messages of heads of state and government to the new Ethiopian leaders, the 39th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AUC, as well as Economic diplomacy, citizen centred diplomacy and Capacity building activities.
I. Political Diplomacy
A. Formation of Government and Congratulatory messages
African leaders, who attended the Inaugural ceremony of PM Abiy Ahmed, congratulated the Ethiopian people for the successful election they had held and offered full support to the premier in his endeavour to bring peace and prosperity to the country and the region. Presidents of Djibouti, Kenya, Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, Senegal, Uganda, and the Prime Minister of DRC have expressed their best wishes and congratulated the newly elected prime minister.
Sultanate of Oman, Amir of the State of Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, President of the Republic of Cameroon, Rwanda, the Russian Federation, the State of Eritrea, Chancellor of Germany, Prime Minister of North Korea have sent a congratulatory message to H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed upon his appointment as the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Trade and European Affairs of the Kingdom of Belgium, Minister of Foreign affairs of Finland, the state of Palestine, Germany, South Sudan, the Republic of Poland, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Djibouti and Ambassador of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela H.E. Demeke Mekonnen upon his appointment as the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia.
B. The 39th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AUC
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen had briefed the Foreign Ministers of AU member States on the current situation in Ethiopia at the 39th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AUC. In his remarks, Mr. Demeke said Ethiopia is working to solve internal problems with an Ethiopian-led process under the auspices of the AU. The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister had also held bilateral talks on the margins of the Ordinary Session. He, in particular, discussed with the Minister of External Relations and International Cooperation of Burundi, Liberia, Algeria, and Sierra Leon, on ways to cement relationships and advance bilateral cooperation between the sisterly countries.
The two-day 39th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union (AU) was concluded on 14th October at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa. The 39th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council is expected to submit its report and recommendations for consideration by the Heads of State and Government of AU member states. The meeting deliberated on various agenda items, including,
• consideration of the report of the 42nd Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives Committee,
• report on the operationalization of the Africa CDC,
• the roadmap on the theme of the Year 2022 on Nutrition and Food Security, reports of Committees of the Executive Council and Ad Hoc Committees,
• report of the Joint-Sitting of the Ministerial Committee on Scale of Assessment and Contributions and the Committee of F15
• report of the Ministerial Committee on African Candidatures within the International System,
• Report of the Ministerial Follow up Committee on the Implementation of Agenda 2063.
• The same meeting has seen the election and appointment of officials of the AU Commission and other AU organs including two (2) Commissioners of the AU Commission, the President and Vice President of the Pan African University (PAU), four (4) Members of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and four (4) Members of the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption.
C. Various Diplomatic activities
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen had a telephone conversation with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, AnžeLogar. During their conversation, Mr.Demeke,
• Briefed Mr.Logar on the current situation in the Northern part of Ethiopia and the efforts being undertaken by the Ethiopian government to deliver humanitarian support to Tigray.
• Explained in detail the attacks carried out by the Tplf in the Amhara and Afar Regions and how they destroyed the livelihood of civilians in the two regions.
• Said the Tplf is diverting the more than 420 trucks that entered Tigray to deliver humanitarian aid for military purposes.
• Reiterated that the Tplf should stop its fighting and attacks on civilians.
• Briefed the Slovenian Minister on the Ethiopian government’s rationale to expel the seven UN staff from the country.
• Told the minister that the recent resolution by the EU Parliament was unacceptable since it is unjustified and biased that overlooked facts on the ground.
The foreign minister of Slovenia, on his part,
• Thanked the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister for the briefing and said that as the current chair of the EU commission he has concerns about the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia and the ongoing fighting.
• He also expressed his concern over the expulsion of the UN staff in affecting humanitarian support activities.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen bade farewell on Thursday (October 07) to the departing Ambassador of Zambia to Ethiopia, Ambassador Emmanuel Mumbaba. Mr. Demeke appreciated the strong relationship and cooperation at various forums between the two countries that helped them forge a long-standing diplomatic relationship that started during the struggle against colonialism.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen received on Thursday (October 07), Head of African Affairs Division at Israel Foreign Ministry, Ms. Bar-Li Sharon at his office. During their discussion, Demeke noted the long-standing diplomatic relationship of Ethiopia and Israel which is marked by strong historical and religious ties.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia has issued two statements over the week detailing the destructive acts of the TPLF in areas it occupied in the Amhara region and protesting the biased European Parliament Resolution and the High-level Ministerial Meeting of the US and its partners. The government of Ethiopia, in the statements, called upon the international community to give due attention to the plight and needs of the people in north Wollo and Gondar, as part of its repeated request for accelerated provision of humanitarian assistance to those affected by the atrocities of the TPLF in all the areas currently under occupation.
The staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia celebrated National Flag Day on Monday (October 11) in the presence of high-level officials. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, delivered a brief speech expressing his belief that the year would mark our unity and resilience in the face of humiliated adversaries.
II. Economic Diplomacy
Djibouti based investors from different African countries have made a three-day investment visit to Ethiopia to exploit the untapped massive livestock resource in Ethiopia and build an abattoir. They had discussions with high-level government officials, relevant authorities as well as representatives of the private sector in the country. The new Abattoir will target European and other high standard markets. The scheme will hugely impact the lives of the farmers and pastoralists, by introducing new concepts and know-how on fattening and feedlot, medications & animal health management as well as high-level abattoir technology while creating employment on the ground.
III. Citizen Centred-Diplomacy
Ethiopian Ambassador in Uganda, H.E. Alemtshay Meseret, had a meeting with Somalis of Ethiopian origin who live in Uganda. The meeting deliberated ways to strengthen trade and investment links between Ethiopia and Uganda. Ambassador Alemtshay noted the experience that attendees have developed in doing business in Uganda which should be used to scale up economic relations between the two countries. She said the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement provides opportunities to investors of the two countries to maximize gains and cement ties.
Ethiopian Embassy in London hosted a fundraising dinner party for Ethiopians and people of Ethiopian origin living in the UK and Ireland. The fundraising event which was held under the theme, “One thousand dinners for the Renaissance dam,” drew one thousand individuals who paid 100 pounds each to attend the event.
Ethiopians and people of Ethiopian origin in Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany submitted letters to the European Union protesting the Union’s Parliament Resolution on Ethiopia. They have detailed things that should be taken into consideration before making decisions regarding the conflict in northern Ethiopia.
Ethiopians living in Bahrain, Djibouti, South Sudan and Kenya celebrated the national Flag Day in the presence of mission leaders and diplomatic staff. They vowed to protect Ethiopia’s interests, support the reform process to develop the country and honour the sovereignty of Ethiopia.
Ethiopians in Kuwait donated 240,000 Ethiopian Birr to support internally displaced people in the country.
Ethiopians in South Sudan, including Eritrean business people bought 10,000 US dollars worth of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance bond.
3229 Ethiopian were repatriated from Saudi Arabia
IV. Capacity Building
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia has given the second round of training to staff members and affiliated institutions over the week. The training has covered a range of topics, mainly, including the rationale behind institutional reform of the Ministry and the basics of digital diplomacy. High-level officials of the Ministry have participated in the training.