The spokesperson of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, H.E. Ambassador Dina Mufti, gave the Ministry’s biweekly press briefing today (June 10 2022) to the media. In his presentation, the Ambassador focused on political diplomacy, Economic diplomacy, and citizen-centred diplomacy.
I. Political Diplomacy
H.E. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his delegation arrived yesterday in Mogadishu, Somalia for newly elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s inauguration. It is to be recalled that Prime Minister Abiy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia extended congratulatory messages upon the re-election of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia had a meeting on Thursday (June 02) with Congressman Trent Kelly, on Wednesday (May 18) with Eamon Gilmore, EU Special Representative for Human Rights; on Friday (May 14) with Dr. Annette Weber, EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa. Their discussion covered measures taken to ensure accountability over human rights abuses in the conflict in the northern part of Ethiopia, supply of humanitarian aid to conflict-affected people, and undergoing efforts to ensure durable peace in the country. According to the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister,
On Accountability Measures
• In order to implement the recommendations of the joint OHCHR-EHRC investigation report, the government of Ethiopia established an inter-Ministerial committee comprising high-profile and skilled law enforcement personnel.
• As a result, some individuals, including members of the ENDF, were prosecuted and brought before justice.
• The UN Human Rights body, regrettably, decided to rerun the UN-EHRC joint investigation incurring an unnecessary duplication of efforts and undermining the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission.
• The proposed investigative works of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts should have also taken the demands of Ethiopians to investigate the human rights abuses committed by the TPLF in the Afar and Amhara regions into account too.
On Peace and Confidence-building measures,
• Steps are taken to pave the way for dialogue and lasting peace in the country, such as,
• The lifting of the state of emergency before its due date,
• The release of high-profile prisoners,
• The proposed all-inclusive National Dialogue.
• The government’s decisions not to enter the Tigray region after the TPLF forces were pushed back from the areas they had invaded in the Amhara and Afar regions.
On Accessibility to Humanitarian Supply
• The declaration of an indefinite humanitarian truce
• Full cooperation of the government with humanitarian partners
• Scaled-up humanitarian support, including food and fuel, heading to the Tigray region
Concern on TPLF’s actions
• The laudable peace initiatives of the federal government of Ethiopia could not be met with equal commitment and determination from the TPLF side.
• The TPLF is preparing for another round of conflict
• The international community should exert enough pressure on the TPLF to renounce its anti-peace activities.
The officials who met the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister,
• Appreciated the proper response of the Ethiopian government to cooperating with humanitarian partners in facilitating access to humanitarian supply to affected people in Tigray, including fuel supply.
• Appreciated the encouraging works of the National Dialogue Commission and the peace initiatives of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, further offering support whenever necessary.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, paid a visit to the Afar Regional State to assess the humanitarian supply facilitation to the Tigray Region at the Serdo and Semera Checkpoints. H.E. Awel Arba, President of the Afar Regional State and other high-level federal and state officials accompanied him. The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister mentioned the laudable activities of the regional government and people of Afar in facilitating the humanitarian aid process to support the people of Tigray despite the attacks of the Tplf in the region that killed and displaced many people. He called for support for displaced people in Afar who are also victims of drought. The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister also encouraged the people and regional government of Afar to vigilantly check items passing through the checkpoints.
A three-day-long Pan-African Youth Summit took place in Addis Ababa from May 25-27. The event was kicked off on May 25, the Day people of the continent celebrate Africa Day. The first-ever African Youth Summit made its theme: ‘Building on Pan-African Ties and Promoting Indigenous Knowledge in Africa”. The summit was attended by high-level government officials, including Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H.E. Demeke Mekonnen and the Minister of Women and Social Affairs of Ethiopia, Ergogie Tesfaye who delivered remarks emphasizing the expected results of the youth summit.
H.E. Demeke Mekonen, FDRE Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, presented the House of People representatives with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ nine-month performance report. The report covered the institution’s entire diplomatic activities on both a bilateral and multilateral level. The Deputy Prime Minister stressed in his speech that Ethiopia has maintained strong relations with its neighbours since the region continues to be Ethiopia’s top foreign policy priority. He went on to explain changes and events in the region, including updates on Ethiopia-Eritrea ties, Sudan’s invasion of Ethiopian land, and the next steps in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations, while underlining Ethiopia’s intention to contribute positively.
The East Africa Art and Culture Festival would strengthen people-to-people relations among the countries in the East African region, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen said on Tuesday (May 24). It is to be recalled that Ethiopia has proposed for East African Cultural and Art Festival to be hosted in rotation among countries in the sub-regions annually. Ethiopia is preparing to host the first Art and Culture Festival scheduled to be held from June 15-20, 2022.
State Minister H.E. Ambassador Redwan Hussien and Ms. Hanna Serwaa Tetteh, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa met on Friday (June 03) to discuss latest developments in Ethiopia and the region. The trust-building initiatives of the Ethiopian government, efforts to facilitate unfettered flow of humanitarian support to affected people in Tigray, and the peace initiatives of Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo under the African Union were the scope of the discussion.
H.E. Ambassador Tesfaye Yilma is appointed State Minister for Political and Economic Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, effective June 08, 2022. Ambassador Tesfaye has been serving as Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the African Union and UNECA. H.E. Ambassador Redwan Hussien was appointed as a National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister (with the rank of Minister). Ambassador Redwan has been a State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia since 27 December 2019.
Ethiopian Embassies in Kuwait, Qatar, Morocco, Germany, Israel, South Africa and India have colourfully celebrated Africa Day, commemorating the 59th anniversary of the founding of the Organization of African Unity (late AU) in Addis Ababa.
Ethiopian Ambassadors in Tanzania, H.E. Shibru Mamo, in the Federative Republic of Brazil, H.E. Tafa Tulu, in the Netherlands, H.E. Hirut Zemene have presented their credentials to Heads of Strate and Government of their respective states. Ethiopian Ambassador to Kenya, H.E. Bacha Debele Buta also presents copy of his letter of credentials to the Chief of protocol of the Foreign Ministry of Kenya.
H.E. Ambassador Nebil Mahdi held talks with Hon. Mahmoud Solomon Agook, Interior Minister of the Republic of South Sudan. The two have exchanged views on the ways of effecting the proposed Joint Border Administrators’ Consultation of the adjoining regional states from the two Countries that is slated to be held in Ethiopia within the upcoming few weeks.
II. Economiy Diplomacy
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with Wafa Marketing and Promotion, has organized a forum on the revised Ethiopian Trade Law and the African Free Trade Agreement.
The Ethiopian Embassy in India, in collaboration with Indian Chamber of International Business (ICIB) organised a Tourism Forum on Thursday (June 7). The forum was virtually attended by State Minister of Ethiopian Ministry of Tourism, H.E. Mr. Seleshi Girma, as well as Ethiopian Airlines office in Delhi and a number of Indian travel & tourism organizations, tour operators, travel agents, media, representatives, and other invited guests.
Ethiopian Embassy in Beijing, in collaboration with Beijing Beimao Jingyuan Health consulting Inc., organized a forum promoting trade and investment in the Medical, Health, and Pharmaceutical sector on Tuesday (May 31, 2022). More than 40 companies in the sector, representatives from the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, Ethiopian Investment Commission, and partner institutions were in attendance in the virtually and physically held forum.
H.E. Ambassador Hirut Zemene conducted several engagement meetings with key Business Diplomacy offices and focal point for Higher Learning Institutions in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. During her visit, she exchanged views with Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), Center for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) and Netherlands-African Business Council (NABC) on how to further strengthen the investment and trade links in the existing and additional business sectors that include agriculture, floriculture, poultry, dairy, renewable energy, health sector, and coffee, among others.
H.E. Tefera Derbew, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to Japan on Monday (May 30, 2022) received Mr Tomokazu Morishige and Mr Hekiro Morishige, the Chairman and the President of Impack Corporation, respectively, at his office and discussed Impack’s rose flower business. The Corporation is planning to conduct rose flower exhibitions in October and November 2022 and in February 2023 with the view to promoting Ethiopia’s rose flower to horticulture producers, flower researchers, and flower retailing supermarkets in Japan.
H.E. Tefera Derbew, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to Japan on Wednesday (June 08, 2022) met with Mr. Kazumasa Kimura, Executive Officer for New Business Development Africa Division COO of Toyota Tsusho Corporation and Mr. Hiroumi Ohara, Manager of power and infrastructure group of Africa Division. Ambassador Tefera briefed the Investment opportunities, incentives, investment policies, and competitive advantages in the manufacturing, energy, and pharmaceuticals sector in Ethiopia and has called the company to invest in Car assembly, fertilizer production, pharmaceuticals, and energy generation among others.
A high-level delegation, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Water and Energy, led by Ethiopia’s State Minister of Water and Energy Dr. Abraha Adugna has participated in the second high-level international decade for action “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028, which is organized by the Government of Tajikistan in cooperation with the United Nations and its entities in the city of Dushanbe. The meeting aims at supporting sustainable development and integrated management of water resources, while promoting cooperation and partnership to achieve internationally agreed water-related goals and targets, including those contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ethiopia in Pakistan, H.E. Jemal Beker, met with Deputy Head of Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations, Mr. Wube Mengistu. During the discussion, Ambassador Jemal said that the Embassy in Islamabad is determined to play its role in supporting efforts to empower the Ethiopian business community and make them competitive for international trade.
III. Citizen Centred Diplomacy
Ethiopia has repatriated 34,367 citizens who were suffering from hostile conditions in Saudi Arabia detention centres within the past 73 days. It is to be recalled that the committee established to oversee the repatriation of Ethiopian migrants from Saudi Arabia had a performance assessment meeting May 26 further highlighting measures to expedite the process.
Ethiopian Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in collaboration with IOM – UN Migration has facilitated the repatriation of 20 Ethiopians, aged 11-17, from Tanzania. The returnees were detained in prisons in Tanzania while trying to cross the country heading to South Africa. Many Ethiopians are in Tanzanian detention centres being victims of Human Traffickers. The Embassy, in collaboration with the government of Tanzania and stakeholders, is working to repatriate the remaining Ethiopians detained in Tanzanian prisons.
Ambassador Berhanu Tsegaye addressed the issue of migration at the IGAD – Saudi High-Level Discussion, during which a Kingdom of Saudi Arabia delegation led by H.E. Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz Kattan, Advisor at the Royal Court of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, participated. The Ambassador underlined the issue of migration along the Ethiopia-Djibouti-Yemen route, which remains a major transit route for outgoing and incoming Ethiopian migrants. While recognizing the coordinated effort by the governments of Ethiopia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to repatriate tens of thousands of Ethiopians to their homeland, he stressed the importance of addressing migration at its source.
Restore Hope and Gebeta Lehager, two Swiss-based Ethiopian Community charities, officially launched a fundraising campaign to rebuild damaged health facilities and schools in the Amhara and Afar regions on May 19, 2022.
H.E. Ambassador Hirut Zemene met with representatives of Ethiopian Diaspora residing in Belgium and exchanged views on recent developments in Ethiopia. The Ambassador commended the Diaspora for their active participation on various calls made to support the cause of their country and particularly to extend financial, material and moral support to compatriots affected by the conflict in the northern part of the country.