The Ministry’s biweekly press briefing.
Press Briefing Summary 04 March 2022
The spokesperson of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, H.E. Ambassador Dina Mufti, gave the Ministry’s biweekly press briefing today (March 04, 2022) to the media. In his presentation, the Ambassador focused on political diplomacy, Economic Diplomacy, citizen-centered diplomatic activities, and capacity-building activities of the ministry over the week.
On behalf of the Ministry, i wish you, once again, a happy anniversary of the 126th Adwa Victory. As H.E. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said we should keep on celebrating Adwa with spirits to eliminate unhelpful practices and hunger and to promote unity and brotherhood. The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, in his message, stressed that Ethiopians celebrate Adwa not only as a Victory Day against tyranny but as a day that opened the gates of freedom for African brothers and sisters by inspiring anti-colonialism struggles.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, had received at his office over the week a delegation led by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, H.E. Marina Sereni. During their discussion, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister
- Thanked the government of Italy for its uninterrupted development cooperation with Ethiopia.
- Appreciated the outstanding construction works of “Webuild” (former Salini Impregilo) in Ethiopia, a company involved in the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam too.
- Described all of the positive measures that the government of Ethiopia has been undertaking to peacefully end the conflict in northern Ethiopia and establish long-lasting peace in the country. In this regard, he mentioned the federal government’s decision to withhold its troops from entering the Tigray region, the release of high-profile political figures from prison, and the decision to establish the National Dialogue Commission paving the way for national consensus.
- Stressed Ethiopia’s commitment to peace, mentioning the federal government’s commitment to act according to the recommendations of the joint investigation of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the UN Human Rights Office into alleged crimes committed in Tigray.
- Said the government of Ethiopia wants the UN and the Ethiopian human rights institutions to conduct similar investigations into the atrocities committed by the TPLF in the Amhara and Afar regions.
- He explained all the efforts made to provide unfettered humanitarian access to the Tigray region.
- Despite all the encouraging steps taken by the federal government, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister said the TPLF failed to reciprocate and continued its provocative acts, mentioning the recent attacks on Afar.
- He said the Tplf has continued to massively recruit and train troops to further exercise its warmongering agenda on the neighboring regions disregarding peace efforts, he added.
- He said the International community, including Italy, should not be bought into the victimhood narratives of the TPLF that often use deception to conceal its anti-peace character.
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, on her part,
- Thanked Mr. Demeke for his briefing on the current situation in the country and for addressing the humanitarian and human rights concerns of Italy.
- Said her government appreciates all the encouraging efforts of the government of Ethiopia to build peace in the country.
- She further said Italy wants to keep on expanding its development partnership and diplomatic relationships with Ethiopia, an anchor state in the region.
The discussion between the two sides was concluded in mutual understanding and pledges to further cement ties.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H.E. Demeke Mekonnnen met at his office and discussed with UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, H.E. James Swan. The two sides exchanged views over the election in Somalia, the reform process of the AU peacekeeping force in Somalia (AMISOM), and the need to stem the terrorist acts of Al-Shabab.
State Minister H.E. Ambassador Redwan Hussien met at his office over the week with a Norwegian delegation led by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Norway, H.E. Dr. Henrik Thune, and discussed bilateral issues and current situations in Ethiopia. During their discussion, Ambassador Redwan,
- Spoke on the long-term diplomatic relations and cooperation between Ethiopia and Norway further appreciating support for Ethiopia’s green economy and the reform agenda.
- Speaking on the conflict in the north, the state Minister said that had there been efforts to understand the inherent nature of the TPLF and the context in which the conflict took place, the conflict would have concluded a long time ago.
- Explained the genesis of the conflict, and asked why the international community preferred to echo the victimhood narrative of the TPLF which actually was the belligerent group that attacked government troops driven by greed and superiority complex.
- He described the steps taken to resolve the conflict in the Tigray region, mentioning the release of prominent political figures from prison, the lifting of the state of emergency, and commitments to have an inclusive national dialogue.
- He said the federal troops did not enter into Tigray region and the government scaled up efforts to address the challenges of humanitarian access issues in the region.
- Overturning all the positive measures by the government, he said the TPLF chose to launch new attacks in the Northern Afar Region, affecting the humanitarian corridor and the aid supply process.
- He said a viable solution to end the conflict in the north is to squarely condemn the TPLF for committing atrocities and failing to reciprocate the peace overtures of the federal government, he said. The ambassador further said, unless the international community holds the TPLF accountable for its crimes and ceases to embolden the group’s intransigence through deliberate silence, there would be no peaceful conclusion to the conflict, he added.
The Deputy Foreign Minister of Norway, on his part,
- Said his country encourages all the recent positive steps taken by the Ethiopian government toward peace.
- Thanked Ambassador Redwan for addressing his concerns candidly and reiterated that his country, as a principle, is concerned over the humanitarian and human rights issues related to the conflict in the North.
- He said the Ethiopian government’s concern over the international community’s partial treatment of the conflict that favored the TPLF is understandable.
The discussion between the two sides also included the peace efforts of Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo which they noted should be supported to conclude the conflict peacefully under the auspices of the African Union.
Ethiopia’s ambassador in Israel, H.E. Ambassador Reta Alemu, held talks with Dr. Lawrence Wenbaw, Director of the Foreign Relations Council, one of the most prominent think tanks in Israel. During the meeting, they discussed current issues in the country, the Grand Ethiopian Dam process, and issues related to strengthening institutions and people-to-people relationships.
The Ethiopian Embassy in Israel hosted the monthly meeting of the Group of African Ambassadors in Israel, which discussed various issues and exchanged views on areas of common interest. Ethiopia’s ambassador in Israel, H.E. Ambassador Reta Alemu Nega spoke about the current situation in Ethiopia, the regional issues and the potential to further strengthen cooperation in political, economic and social relations between African countries and Israel.
The Republic of Croatia has announced its plan to open its embassy in Ethiopia. The announcement was made during a discussion between H.E. Ambassador Demitu Hambisa and the Political Affairs Director General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia. The two sides discussed areas of cooperation to further cement the longstanding relationship between the two countries.
Ethiopia has participated in the 7th Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa (PIDA) in Kenya and on the margins of the Programme; a representative from the Ethiopian embassy in Kenya participated in the discussion about the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) Corridor Project. Ethiopia’s representative at the event reaffirmed the country’s commitment to the realization of the Project since it fulfils the development, integration and prosperity aspirations of the people in the region.
The Ethiopian embassy in India, in collaboration with “The_Diplomatist,” a magazine production company organized a virtual business forum aiming at exploring Ethio-India investment, trade and tourism opportunities. Ambassador Tizita Mulugeta in her opening remarks underscored the forum as a useful event to acquaint the business community of India with the opportunities and potential of investing and doing business in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia’s ambassador in Brussels, H.E. Ambassador Hirut Zemene, met with the Director of Wallonia Export & Investment of Africa, Near & Middle East. The two sides had fruitful exchanges on ways and means of promoting cooperation in the investment, trade, and tourism sectors. Ambassador Hirut further explained the encouraging engagement of Belgian companies in investing in various sectors in the country.
H.E. Ambassador Hirut Zemene met with the Commercial Director of Pikoline/Schippers Group– a Dutch company that invests in Ethiopia to discuss its new project in the country. The company develops knowledge, services, and products to improve hygiene in livestock farms. Both sides exchanged ideas on the collaboration that the company has started with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Agriculture in the Live Stock sector.
III. #CitizenCentred Diplomacy
The National Committee established to work on the cases of Ethiopian migrants in Saudi Arabia had a meeting with stakeholders to exchange the latest plans in handling the issue. Presiding over the meeting, H.E. Ambassador Birtukan Ayano
- Said preparation is underway not only to repatriate Ethiopian citizens but also to rehabilitate them.
- She said the repatriation efforts would include more than 102 thousand Ethiopians that are in various Saudi Arabian prisons and detention centers.
- Considering the gravity of the issue, Ambassador Birtukan called on all stakeholders to contribute their level best to alleviate the problems that Ethiopians are facing in Saudi Arabia.
The deliberations and plans of the committee that comprises 16 stakeholders from various government institutions will be discussed tomorrow in the Presence of the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen. The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister chairs the National Committee established to combat illegal human trafficking.
The Ethiopian embassy in Kenya announced that it has helped to repatriate 139 Ethiopians home. They were detained in Kenyan prisons for illegally crossing the border into Kenya making their destination to South Africa.
The handing over of the new Ethiopian Community School Building Design was held in Djibouti. Ambassador Tesfaye Yilma, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the African Union and ECA, senior Ethiopian and Djiboutian officials were present at the ceremony. The Ethiopian Ambassador in Djibouti, H.E. Berhanu Tsegaye, said the Ethiopian Community School, which has long been a concern of Ethiopian parents in Djibouti, has reached a significant milestone with the delivery of the building design.
The Ethiopian Diaspora Agency Deputy Director, Dr. Mohammed Indris had a meeting with representatives of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Bank of Nigeria. The visit to Nigeria and the meetings with pertinent bodies were made to share experiences and practices that will strengthen the participation of the Diaspora and lay the foundation for future relations between the two institutions.
A fundraising dinner was held in Geneva to help rebuild the destroyed schools in the Afar and Amhara regions. H.E. Ambassador Zenebe Kebede, Ethiopian Ambassador in Genève thanked Ethiopians and people of Ethiopian descent living in Switzerland for efforts to support their country.
The training that has been given to newly appointed ambassadors has continued and various government officials, including officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, have addressed them.
- Present at one of the sessions over the week, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen said Ambassadors representing Ethiopia should fit the position that they are assigned to better protect the multifaceted interests of their country. He said Ambassadors should gauge the ever-changing geopolitical interests of various countries and specific national interests of the countries that they are assigned to register fruitful results to the people and government of Ethiopia,
- State Minister, H.E. Ambassador Redwan Hussein also said Ethiopian ambassadors should give due attention to global economic and political dynamics that may determine the building of a strong and resilient economy at home.
- State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, H.E. Ambassador Birtukan Ayano, on her part, said the ambassadors are expected to promote Ethiopian projects, in various sectors, for foreign investors to further assist the economic reform process in the country.
- Ministers and State Ministers of various ministries have continued to give extensive explanations on the ongoing economic activities in Ethiopia and urged the ambassadors to relentlessly promote them to attract foreign investors.
Ethiopia has granted full scholarships to 29 South Sudanese Medical Doctors for specialization enrolling in different Specialization fields in Ethiopia’s higher education institutions. In line with the human resource development and capacity building supports to the sisterly nation of the Republic of South Sudan, the medical doctors will be travelling within a few days to get enrolled in 22 medical specialization fields in different Ethiopian Universities in the 2021/2022 academic year.
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