The spokesperson of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, H.E. Ambassador Dina Mufti, gave the Ministry’s biweekly press briefing today (30 September 2021) to the media. In his presentation, the Ambassador focused on political diplomacy, particularly on the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H.E.Demeke Mekonnen participation in UNGA76, Economic diplomacy, and citizen cantered diplomacy. Please find here summary of the briefing.
Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia
I. Political Diplomacy
The staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had a fruitful discussion with H.E. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali on the need of accelerating the implementation of the ideals of the reform process that Ethiopia has been undertaking for the last 3 years to build a prosperous future for all Ethiopians. The meeting discussed what is expected of diplomats to better serve their country. The meeting was a conclusion to the 9-day training that the staff of the Ministry had been taking at Africa Leadership Excellence Academy in Sululta.
The Office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia issued a statement that reflected Ethiopia’s solidarity with the problems that the people of Sudan are facing currently. It expressed hope that Sudan would overcome its current ordeal with the wisdom and professionalism accustomed to the people of Sudan. It also stated that Ethiopia believes that Sudan should not, in any way, allow external interference, and apparent and hidden dictates.
On the margins of the UNGA76 in New York, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen had a one-to-one discussion with the UN Secretary-General, UAE State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Venezuela foreign minister, Indian External Affairs Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence of Ireland, Under-Secretary-General for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). The discussion covered a range of topics of mutual interest, including the situation in the northern part of Ethiopia.
H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia speaking at the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76). He raised a lot of issues ranging from COVID-19 vaccination, climate change, the Tigray issue, the role of the misinformation in the international media in distorting facts, multilateralism, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the Ethiopia-Sudan border dispute and the role of Ethiopian peacekeeping missions. He said:
•Countries with the means should advance cooperation, cognizant of the global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, where no one is safe until everyone is safe.
•Ethiopia hopes COP-26 (the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference) will pave the way for climate financing and support to programs such as the Green Belt and Green Legacy afforestation initiatives that are restoring a long-lost ecosystem.
•Ethiopia is committed to the ideals of Multilateralism. But Multilateralism will meet its objective only if states are able and free to manage their domestic and external affairs.
•The Government of Ethiopia has been struggling against groups that consider equality as subjugation who are making their best effort to create and prolong anarchy. The challenge we are facing is not limited to the boundaries of Ethiopia. The entire region is facing the destructive path paved for it by this group. Supporting Ethiopia to overcome this criminal group is helping sustain regional peace.
•Ethiopia has also been grappling with the twisted propaganda campaign that followed the TPLF attack against the ENDF on November 04, 2020. Accused by agenda-and-revenue driven media, convicted by misguided politics, we are now facing a unilateral coercive measure. Prescriptions and punitive measures never helped improve situations or relations.
•Dialogue has always been our preferred course of action. Accordingly, Ethiopia is open to candid initiatives for peace. In this connection, we will work with the African Union and the High Representative for the Horn of Africa towards an Ethiopia led national dialogue. We only hope, the African Union will be given the space to apply its own wisdom.
•Ethiopia has unreserved commitment for the provision of humanitarian assistance and to facilitate the operation of its humanitarian partners that adhere to the principles of neutrality, independence and humanity and the laws of the country. Apart from this, no excuse will justify any attempt to intervene in our internal affairs.
•Accordingly, Ethiopia stands ready to avail bilateral mechanisms and diplomatic solutions to resolve the border dispute with Sudan. It is incumbent upon our two governments to work for peace for the sake of our people that have the strongest bond of fraternity.
•Our experiment with democracy ascended one level with a free, fair, peaceful, and credible election with an unprecedented level of voter turnout.
•The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is politicized before global bodies. This peoples’ project also received unending threats. The generational desire to use our natural resources will not be stopped by a colonial legacy and monopolistic cause. We hope our negotiating partners are prepared for a win-win outcome under the African Union led process.
•The role of Ethiopia in peacekeeping missions has been impressive. Our troops have done justice to the most cherished name of their country through their service and sacrifice. Ethiopians pay them respects and express their pride.
As WFP announced on Tuesday, five convoys-171-trucks have entered Tigray over the past three weeks, carrying a combined total of 6,150 metric tons of food which is enough to feed 360,000 people for one month. WFP also announced that 61 commercial trucks have departed Tigray on Tuesday. It is recalled that the UN had announced on September 17 that only 38 out of 466 trucks that entered Tigray since 12 July returned.
The Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Zhao Lijian, during a press conference said, “China opposes new US sanctions regime on Ethiopia and called on the US to be prudent and play a constructive role. He said China believes that the parties concerned in Ethiopia have the wisdom and capability to properly resolve differences, realize national reconciliation and restore peace & stability.
H.E Ambassador Demitu Hambisa Bonsa, Ambassador of Ethiopia to Italy met with H.E. Dr. Qu Dongyu, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Ambassador Demitu thanked FAO for supporting agricultural, development-related, and capacity-building activities in Ethiopia. The Ambassador and the Director-General confirmed their commitment to their continued partnership in the joint effort to transform the Agri-food system.
H.E. Ambassador Alemtsehay Meseret, Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Uganda, met with H.E. Sam Cheptoris, Minister of Water and Environment of Uganda. The Ugandan Minister, during the discussion with Ambassador Alemtshay, appreciated Ethiopia’s Green Legacy initiative and said Uganda wants to replicate the experience.
H.E. Ambassador Nebil Mahdi conveyed the congratulatory message of H.E. Tagesse Chaffo, the Speaker of the Ethiopian House of Peoples Representatives, addressed to the new Speaker of the Transitional Parliament of South Sudan, Hon. Jemma Nunu Kumba. During the discussion, Ambassador Nebil reiterated the firm commitment of Ethiopia to scaling up its longstanding relationships with South Sudan. Ambassador Nebil also spoke on the current situations in Ethiopia, including the Ethiopia-Sudan border conflict and the GERD issue. Hon. Jemma Nunu Kumba said Ethiopia has always been a refuge to South Sudanese people during troubling times. She said the tripartite should solve their differences over the GERD file through dialogue and South Sudan believes in the equitable utilization of the Nile River.
Newly appointed ambassadors of the European Union and the Arab Republic of Egypt have presented copies of their letters of credentials today to the Director General of Protocol Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Mr. Feysel Alyie.
Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the UK, H.E. Ambassador Teferi Melesse has a constructive meeting with the newly-appointed Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Africa Minister, Vicky Ford, on various issues. He briefed her on developments in Ethiopia, including the situation in Tigray, democratisation and elections, the progress of homegrown economic reforms, the green legacy initiative, and more.
II. Citizen cantered diplomacy
Ethiopians, people of Ethiopian origins and friends of Ethiopia living in the United States rallied, protesting undue pressures against the government of Ethiopia. They called on the Biden administration to reconsider its executive order that threatened Ethiopia with unjustified sanctions.
Ethiopians in the Bay Area of California donated $223,482 in just 8 hours to support displaced families and communities ravaged by TPLF’s war of terror and ruthless aggression. Bay Area Ethiopians have set a new record in diaspora contributions.
Ethiopians living in and around Stuttgart, Germany have raised, 8,400 Euro for to support affected people in Ethiopia due to the conflict in the northern part of the country.
Ethiopian Muslim Community in Belgium and Amhara Association in Belgium collectively donated about 474, 279 birr worth of food items to displaced people in Wollo while on Ethiopia Day that was organized by the Antwerp Ethiopian Community Association; 4,035.00 Euros have been collected to support displaced people in Ethiopia.
In the last two weeks, a total of 2,043 Ethiopians were repatriated from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Among these, 794 were from Riyadh, 892 were from Jeddah while 357 were from Yemen.
III. Economic Diplomacy
Djibouti-based investors from different African countries paid a three-day investment visit to Ethiopia & held discussions with high-level government officials, relevant authorities as well as representatives of the private sector in the country on establishing a new abattoir targeting the untapped massive livestock resource in Ethiopia,. The new Abattoir will introduce, integrated livestock from the farm to abattoir enhancing the traceability of the animals to best serve European and other high standard markets. The scheme will hugely impact the lives of the farmers and pastoralists, by introducing new concepts & know-how on fattening and feedlot, medications & animal health management as well as high-level abattoir technology while creating employment on the ground.
An Algerian delegation headed by Mr. Djilani Kobibi Bachir, CEO of Industriel Sidi Bendehiba (GISB) Group has visited Ethiopia from September 17-24, 2021 for an Investment meeting with Ethio-Engineering Group (EEG) and a series of engagements with governmental and private sector actors. This investment visit, organized by the Ethiopian Embassy in Algiers upon the invitation of the Ethio-Engineering Group, is expected to forge cooperation between GISB & EEG on enhancing production capacity, manufacturing Input supply, technical and technology transfer.
H.E. Ambassador Tizita Mulugeta, Ethiopian Ambassador to India, had a productive conversation with the president of Global India Business Forum. Ambassador Tizita emphasized the need to work together to promote Ethiopia’s trade and investment opportunities. The two sides agreed to organise industry specific Indian business delegation to Ethiopia.