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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen meets EU Special Envoy Pekka Haavisto

H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia held talks today (April 09) with Mr. Pekka Haavisto, Special Envoy of the European Union and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Discussing the current situation in Tigray, the special envoy appreciated the recently announced agreement between the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the UN to jointly Investigate alleged human rights violations in the region.

In this regard, Mr. Demeke said the government is committed to bring perpetrators to justice based on the findings of the joint investigation between the two institutions.

On the humanitarian aid efforts in the region, the Deputy Prime Minister said the international community should support the government that still is covering 70 percent of the delivery reaching 4.5 million people so far.

The second round comprehensive assessment in identifying people who need humanitarian assistance in the region is concluded and is already under implementation, he said.

In some pocket areas where security problems exist the government provides humanitarian assistance in cooperation with the Ethiopian Defence Force, he added.

Mr. Haavisto, on his part, said during his visit to the region the humanitarian agencies operating there have told him that access to the region has been very much improved.

Speaking on the internally displaced people in the region a roadmap has been charted out by the government to be implemented to resettle people before the upcoming rainy season.

Life in the region has returned to normalcy, said the Deputy Prime Minister adding that the government is initiating plans to have a wide-range consultation with elders, the youth and the community in the region to make the peace process sustainable.

In this regard, following the end of the ultimatum issued by the government recently, outlaws would have no option but to face justice.

Their discussion also covered the GERD negotiations where Mr. Demeke reiterated Ethiopia’s commitment to the AU-led process and appreciation to the new Chairperson’s initiatives.

The special envoy expressed his view that expediting information and data exchange before the commencement of the filling of the dam would be advisable.

Speaking about the Ethiopia-Sudan border conflict Mr. Demek said it is regrettable that the international community did not openly criticize Sudan for occupying Ethiopia’s territories through the use of force.

The special envoy had paid a visit to Ethiopia a couple of months back and is expected to present his findings in his latest visit to the council of Ministers at the end of this month.

H.E. Amb. Hirut Zemene holds a discussion with Honourable Witold Jan Waszczykowski

H.E. Ambassador Hirut Zemene held a discussion with the Vice-Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) of the European Parliament, Honourable Witold Jan Waszczykowski today on the 7th of April 2021.

The discussions mainly focused on the current situation in the #Tigray Regional State, the upcoming National Elections in #Ethiopia, and latest developments on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (#GERD)negotiations, among others. The two sides further agreed to keep on exchanging views on national and regional matters.

Press Release on the Trilateral Negotiations on the GERD

06 APRIL 2021
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
===
The Foreign and Water Affairs Ministers of Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan had a meeting in Kinshasa to resume the trilateral negotiation on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) under the auspices of the African Union (AU). President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the current chairperson of the AU, H.E. Felix Tshisekedi opened the meeting. The Minister of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the chairperson of the Executive Council of the AU, chaired the Ministerial meeting that was held on 04-05 April 2021. The Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security of the AUC attended the Ministerial meeting.
The meeting convened to review the progress of the negotiation and to chart the way forward. H.E Demeke Mekonnen in his opening remarks reassured Ethiopia’s commitment towards the successful completion of the negotiation under the AU framework. He also underlined the rights of all the riparian countries to use the Nile River and the need for cooperation. He further stressed the importance of reversing the monopoly of the use of the waters of the Nile by the downstream countries. The Deputy Prime Minister also recalled the opportunity for cooperation created by the GERD and underscored the need to take the progress of the negotiation to their conclusion.
Agreeing on the continuation of the three observers in the process (the Republic of South Africa, the United States of America, and the European Union), discussions were held on the proposed enhancement of the role of observers. Accordingly, Ethiopia with its resolve to maintain the full ownership of the process by the three countries and the integrity of the AU-led process, agreed to accept the role of observers to share information and proposal when jointly requested by the Countries. On the other hand, Egypt’s and Sudan’s position of granting the observers the same role as the AU is not accepted.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Ethiopia supported the draft communiqué submitted by the Chairperson of the AU with minor adjustments. However, Egypt and Sudan rejected the draft demanding the role of observers to replace that of the three countries and the AU. The two countries followed an approach that seeks to undermine the AU-led process and to take the matter out of the African platform. They also stalled the resumption of the negotiation by rejecting a draft communiqué that contained the deliberations during the two days meeting. Rather both countries attempted to obstruct the process.
Ethiopia`s resolve to reach a settlement on the first filling and related operation of the dam failed to bear result due to Egypt’s and Sudan’s rigid stance to make the negotiation and the outcome a tool to affirm their self-claimed water share and foreclose Ethiopia’s share. Ethiopia cannot enter into an agreement that would foreclose its current and future legitimate rights over the utilization of the Nile.
The second-year filling of the GERD will be carried out as scheduled pursuant to the Declaration of Principles (DoP). In this context, Ethiopia expressed its readiness to facilitate data and information exchange on the filling of the dam. The positions contesting the filling of the dam ahead of the conclusion of an agreement has no basis in law and contravenes Ethiopia`s inherent right to utilize its natural resource is unacceptable.
Ethiopia has enormous respect for the role played by the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, H.E Félix Tshisekedi, the Chairperson of the AU for hosting the meeting to resume the trilateral negotiation. Ethiopia reiterates its position in support of a trilateral process that will maintain the ownership of the countries and integrity of the AU-led process and commits to working towards the conclusion of the trilateral process. Ethiopia expects the meeting will be resumed around the third week of April 2021. Ethiopia expects the reconvening of the meeting upon the call of the current chair of the African Union.

Spokesperson Office of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ethiopia
06 April 2021

Press Release: On the Media and alleged human rights violations and other crimes committed in Tigray

The international media have been busy reporting crimes of all sorts of nature in the Tigray region since the beginning of the law enforcement operation that followed the unwarranted and surprise attack by the TPLF clique on the members of the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Force on 4 November 2020. The government of Ethiopia not only sympathizes with the affected people and appreciates the rightful attention given to the protection of the rights of civilians in the Tigray region, but also leaves no stone unturned until the truth is revealed and perpetrators are brought to justice. Be that as it may, the government of Ethiopia believes that it has to set the records straight on slanted reports that continued to portray the federal government as an instigator of all crimes, while the belligerent TPLF appears to be the underdog that happens to be at the receiving ends of the alleged atrocities and human rights violations in the region.

The government of Ethiopia urges the international community to not be easily swayed by the propaganda campaign of the TPLF clique and its sympathizers, including the international media that tend to whitewash the crimes of the clique that has a track record of committing ineffable atrocities on Ethiopians for more than three decades. It should not also be forgotten that the government of Ethiopia has been dealing with a criminal enterprise that had been armed to its teeth and it would be naive to rule out the possibilities of civilian causalities during the rule of law operations in the region. As we have repeatedly said undesirable things might occur when dealing with a group that does not hesitate to use civilians as human shields and their household as hideouts.

The government of Ethiopia, once again, is deeply dismayed by the deaths of civilians and the punfortunate circumstances that led them to endure unbearable situations. The government has a policy of zero tolerance for human rights violations and is committed to holding into account whosoever is involved in the alleged rights violations. The recent agreement between the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the UN to run a joint investigation on alleged human rights violations in the region is a manifestation of the Ethiopian federal government’s devotion to taking the matter seriously.

Unfortunately, the international community has continued to be bombarded by biased reports that do not corroborate with the facts on the ground. Selective perceptions of news reports and journalists who have continued to observe things through colored glasses taint news outputs that often tend to find the federal government of Ethiopia as the usual suspect for all the allegedly committed human rights violations in the Tigray region. All the rush to accuse the government even tends to overshadow the well-substantiated crime committed against humanity by the TPLF clique on the innocent civilians of the Maikadra town.

The problem with TPLF is not just in initiating the crime, but its resolve to twist the truth and concoct stories through doctored footage in a bid to continue misinforming the world. And the sad thing is that the international media has been readily picking such products of the clique without giving second thoughts while pretending to fail to notice the clique’s wrongs. To make matters worse, TPLF has staunch and bankrolled accomplices who are self-acclaimed gurus on matters of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa.

The international community will understand the matter at hand objectively by applying a rudimentary level of logical reasoning heeding to the fact that the concerted disinformation campaign by International media on Ethiopia cannot be a basis for the reality on the ground. This understanding entails that Investigations on the credibility and scope of allegations in the region should be substantiated by independent bodies and not by simply relying on the mere accusatory reports of news agencies.

Putting all the blame for alleged crimes on the Ethiopian government and turning a blind eye to the misdeeds of TPLF that continued to play the victim will not be a viable way to give justice to affected people. Acknowledging the initiatives to run independent investigations over the alleged human rights violations in the region could be the first step to take. Holding the irresponsible TPLF clique, that has continued to urge the people of Tigray to continue fighting for meaningless causes, accountable for the sufferings it has caused and the human rights violations it has continued to committing in the region is another step to take as a genuine concern to ease up the sufferings of civilians.

#MFA

Letter to the Editor of DeMorgen

Dear Editor in chief,
De Morgen
First, we would like to express our appreciation for the interest a media outlet like De Morgen has taken in developments in our country, Ethiopia. However, we regret the inaccurate assertions made in the article “Dode tieners Kunnen geen wraak nemen (Dead teens cannot retaliate)” by Erik Raspoet mainly based on Professor Jan Nyssen’s report published on the 30th of March 2021. In the article, many malicious and sensational insights have been made not only about the current situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, but also about the region’s future. It is unfortunate that the professor has opted to put his favoritism over the board with serious national issue of this nature. According to the facts presented in the article, as an academic, Professor Nyssen has failed to research for the truth and put a nuanced view on his report. Therefore, the Embassy of Ethiopia in Brussels expresses its serious concern about the De Morgen’s decision in entertaining such divisive views and would like to set the record straight to the valued readership.
Considering Professor Nyssen’s background, taking an interest on the current situation of the Tigray region in Ethiopia and expressing personal concern and opinion on the matter is understandable. However, it is most unfortunate that the professor used the opportunity to work in Ethiopia, through the Ethio-Belgium education cooperation, to build malicious stories that fuel inter communal feud, mistrust, and bias among the people of Ethiopia. The deeds of the professor and his assistants was simply abusive of acquaintances established over the years to taint Ethiopia and its Tigray region with reckless authority and to what end? Exploiting opportunities in such a manner is unacceptable by any standard. As an academic, he could have used his knowledge, to tell the truth about how Ethiopians are a multicultural society mingled through, among others, way of life, religion and intermarriages. One wonders why it would be lost on him that the Tigrian people are part and parcel of this deep-rooted Ethiopian culture. It was not sounding to authoritatively claim there is a hatred between ethnic groups. It doesn’t represent Ethiopia of all the places.
The Embassy of Ethiopia remains available for a candid discussion with any concerned party and accepts constructive and balanced criticisms in dealing with the law and order ascertaining operation that was concluded in three weeks in November 2020. This being the case, not only our Embassy has tried to invite Professor Nyssen for a candid discussion since he took part in the petition in November in misrepresenting the cause of the operation in Ethiopia, he had declined a meeting that he so agreed to join through the invitation of the respected VLIR- OUS at another time.
The Professor, in an unfounded manner, is war-drumming, calling a doomsday, by referring a ‘civil war is eminent’. He has even the audacity to call the law and order ascertaining operation an ‘invasion’. The world is familiar with the truth now; the cause for the Operation was the unwarranted attack of the Ethiopian National Defense Force by the TPLF clique.
What the professor claims to have collected evidence of casualties in Axum and other areas of Tigray, better be channelled to the ongoing independent investigation in country. One wonders why he fails to mention atrocities committed in Mai Kadra right at the beginning of the law and order ascertaining operation.
The statement made by Prof. Nyssen, “…. Food is being used as a weapon in this war” is a far-fetched allegation and doesn’t reflect the situation on the ground. The Government of Ethiopia has come a long way in granting full access to those partners that have expressed to lend a hand in the humanitarian work. It is to be recalled that the Government of Ethiopia continues to deliver 70% of the humanitarian aid demand in the Tigray region. Thus far about 4.2 million beneficiaries have been reached. Ever since the unfettered access, the arrivals of new assistance have not

been yet promising. Ethiopia and the Horn region have faced multiple challenges due to the locust infestation and floods compounded with the COVID 19 pandemic and even in Tigray alone there were 1.8 million people on safety-net support before the November operation. Hence, this is where international partners that called for unfettered access need to extend support.
The audacity of the professor to dictate the future of the Tigray region of Ethiopia is unacceptable by any standard. Although the article does not clearly mention from which Ambassadors and NGOs the report got complements, there is no doubt through his interest for praise he has gone out of his way to taint the image of Ethiopia. This is simply a huge indication of how he lacks the understanding of our people’s strong social fabric, which has overcome several challenges encountered over the centuries and remained united.
Regarding the effect of the conflict on innocent civilians and with particular reference to alleged human rights violations, we fully share such concerns. However, the piece misses the essential point in that the Government of Ethiopia has established a mechanism to take allegations of human rights violations seriously and its determination to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of human rights violations, including sexual violations. In this context, the Government has made it abundantly clear that it is ready to collaborate with the African Union and United Nations human rights bodies. Based on this the African Union has accepted the invitation on African Human and Peoples right Commission to jointly take part in the investigation with the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC). In the same manner the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights has also accepted to collaborate in the investigation with EHRC.
Besides, the Federal Attorney’s Office and the Federal Police Commission are investigating alleged human rights atrocities in the Tigray region, including an investigation into the massacre that took place at a place called Mai Kadra, sexual violation and alleged atrocities in the city of Axum. An investigation is underway to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

The Ethiopian government, with all the challenges ahead, is determined to continue steadfast with the deep-rooted reforms including making the upcoming national election in early June 2021 a fair and free contestation.
We still call on academics like Professor Jan Nyssen that it would not do any good to be preoccupied in such a divisive and unproductive engagements. It is rather incumbent on them to understand the constitutional mandate of the Federal Government of Ethiopia to maintain law and order and restore peace and stability in the country.

Public Diplomacy Division
Embassy of Ethiopia
Brussels

The spokesperson of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia has presented the Ministry’s biweekly press briefing

The spokesperson of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, H.E. Ambassador Dina Mufti, has presented the Ministry’s biweekly press briefing today (29 March 2021). In his presentation, the Ambassador focused on political diplomacy, situations regarding humanitarian support and alleged atrocities on rights violations in Tigray, the Ethio-Sudan border dispute, economic diplomacy, capacity building and citizen-centered diplomatic activities.

I. Political Diplomacy

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen confers with US Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Ambassador Donald Booth. The Deputy Prime Minister briefed the delegation on the tripartite negotiations of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam reiterating the issues below:

• Although Ethiopia contributes 86% of the water share of the Nile River, 60% of its citizens still live in darkness and Ethiopia aims to change this once the construction of the dam is concluded.
• Ethiopia has legal and sovereign right to use the Nile water for development fairly and equitably and that Ethiopia has no interest in harming the lower Nile Basin countries in doing so.
• Ethiopia has always been committed to resolving issues through negotiations, in a way that addresses the concerns of Sudan and Egypt.
• Ethiopia is keen to sustaining the African Union-led talks under the Chairmanship of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
• Talks to change the modalities of the negotiations should be treated according to the provisions of the DOP, which was signed by the tripartite in 2015.
• Sudan has been provided with information on the security of the dam and
• The filling of the dam is part of the overall construction project.

Ambassador Donald Booth, on his part, reiterated the longstanding relationship between Ethiopia and the U.S. and his country’s readiness to assist the tripartite whenever necessary.

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the United Nations, H.E. Taye Atske Selassie briefed the African Group of Ambassadors in New York on the situation in Tigray. He thanked the Group for their solidarity and support underscoring Ethiopia’s resolve to come out stronger. Members of the AG relayed that Ethiopia will prevail as it had in the past.

Ethiopian embassies in #Canada and the #US had a webinar meeting on the GERD and related issues on Saturday (March 27). The need to organise the Ethiopians and origin of Ethiopians abroad to increase funding to the GERD was underscored in the meetings.

The #Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research organized a Virtual workshop in collaboration with the Ethiopian Embassy on the Topic “From Ethiopia to Jerusalem”. The meeting discussed the historical and spiritual relationship between the two countries that enabled Ethiopia to maintain a significant place in Jerusalem.

II. #Ethiopia-#

Many countries, including the UAE are offering us to mediate the Ethio-Sudan border dispute that Ethiopia expressed its appreciation for the initiatives.

III. Situations in #Tigray

#Investigations on alleged atrocities- The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (#EHRC) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (#OHCHR) have agreed to conduct a joint investigation into the human rights violations and abuses allegedly committed by all parties in the context of the Tigray conflict, as part of the much-needed accountability process for the victims.

• The joint investigation scheme indicates the level of trust EHRC has developed among the international community and the Government of Ethiopia encourages all the necessary help to the organisation as a gesture of encouragement to build such an independent institution

• As Prime Minister Abiy said in his recent address to the parliament, regardless of the TPLF propaganda of exaggeration, any soldier responsible for raping our women & looting communities in the region will be held accountable as their mission is to protect.

#Secession of hostilities- For lasting peace in Tigray and to avoid the blood of citizens shedding in vain, treasonous TPLF top leaders are urged to respond to the Ethiopian government’s call for their peaceful surrender before all the necessary measures are taken to enforce the law. (N.B. the government’s one week ultimatum has ended yesterday)

#Eritrean forces- With the departure of Eritrean forces from the Ethiopian border (as stated in Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s statement following his visit in Asmara), the Ethiopian National Defense Force will immediately take over guarding the border areas that were exposed following TPLF’s heinous attack.

#Access and #Humanitarian support- The government of Ethiopia has made leaps in creating unimpeded access for humanitarians in Tigray and in addressing the concerns of the international community. What remains now is to objectify this concern with a proper response to World Food Program (@WFP’s) call for US$170 million support to meet critical food and nutrition needs in the region. As stated in the prime Minister’s address to the parliament, 1.8mil people Tigray have been living on safety net for the last 20yrs while also under TPLFs leadership and COVID19, desert locust and other challenges plagued the region while TPLF drummed irresponsible war narratives. All these have exacerbated the problem in the region where the international community needs to scale up all the necessary support.

IIII. #EconomicDiplomacy

• The Ethiopian embassy in Doha, in collaboration with KON Group has organised the ‘Ethiopia Digital Workshop’ yesterday to attract Qatari foreign direct investments (FDIs) to Ethiopia’s manufacturing, agriculture, mining, commerce, and hospitality and tourism sectors.

• A Top-Level Investors team of South Africa led by H.E Shiferaw Teklemariam Ambassador of Ethiopia to South Africa met H.E Temesgen Tilahun, Deputy Commissioner of Ethiopian Investment Commission and EIC Advisors and held a very fruitful discussion regarding Investment opportunities, strengthening the relation of the two countries, and Knowledge and technology transfer.

• The Ethiopian Embassy in Algeria held a Business to Business virtual session for Ethiopian Coffee exporting companies and Algerian coffee importers. Ethiopian exporters were able to present such details as quality, shipment and payment modalities to their Algerian counterparts.

• The Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Doha, Qatar has participated in the 8th Qatar International Agriculture Exhibition (AgriteQ2021). Companies that engage in agriculture, the environment, food and animal production industries, and Embassies took part the exhibition. More than 200 companies from 42 countries have participated through their embassies and trade bureaus in Qatar.

V. #Capacitybuilding and #CitizenCentered Diplomacy

• Tourism Ethiopia in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave an online training to our mission leaders under the theme, “land of origins”

• We have repatriated 906 citizens from Saudi Arabia, Jeddah and Riyadh

#DiasporaParticipation

Ethiopian Americans and Eritrean Americans residing in the Washington and San Francisco have condemned the propaganda campaigns waged by remnants of the defunct TPLF clique and called upon their elected representatives to carefully analyze the situation in Ethiopia.

#MFA

H.E. Ato Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance of Ethiopia, meets with H.E. Eamon Gilomor, EU Special Representative for Human Rights

On March 25, 2021, H.E. Ato Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance of the Federal Democratic Republic of #Ethiopia, met with H.E. Eamon Gilomor, #EuropeanUnion Special Representative for #HumanRights, and made a wide-ranging exchange of views on current developments in Ethiopia.

Minister Ahmed Shide briefed the Special Representative about the ongoing efforts to rehabilitate the #Tigray region and provide the necessary humanitarian support, which has so far covered 4.2 million beneficiaries. He also explained the ongoing investigation on alleged human rights violations as well as Ethiopia’s readiness to strengthen its capacity on the investigation process by working closely with the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights (#ACHPR). In this regard, he further noted the understanding reached between the Ethiopia Human Rights Commission and the Office of the #UnitedNations High Commission for Human Rights to launch a joint investigation on alleged violations of Human Rights.

H.E. Ato Ahmed Shide further briefed him regarding the upcoming general elections scheduled to be held at the beginning of June 2021 and the strong focus given to build a resilient economy by the newly launched 10 years plan of action.

On his part, H.E. Gilmore appreciated improvements observed both in terms of access for humanitarian assistance as well as investigation of alleged human rights violations. He also enquired about the level of investigation and the speed at which the perpetrators could face justice. Furthermore, the Special Representative expressed the importance of having a proper mechanism to avoid further violations of Human Rights.

On Discussions with President Isaias Afwerki

 

On November 4, 2020 the TPLF criminal clique treasonously attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) in a foiled plan to seize power by destabilizing the nation. Attacking the Northern Command where the nation’s largest weapons depot was stationed and mercilessly killing and kidnapping members of the ENDF has drawn the federal government into a military engagement it has been provoked into.
It is to be recalled that following the attack on the Northern Command, the TPLF fired rockets into Bahir Dar and Gonder cities. Similarly, they fired rockets into Asmara, Eritrea thereby provoking the Eritrean government to cross Ethiopian borders and prevent further attacks and maintain its national security.
In our March 26, 2021 discussions with President Isaias Afwerki during my visit to Asmara, the government of Eritrea has agreed to withdraw its forces out of the Ethiopian border. The Ethiopian National Defense Force will take over guarding the border areas effective immediately.
Ethiopia and Eritrea will continue strengthening their bilateral relations and economic cooperation ambitions. We will continue building on the spirit of trust and good neighborliness between our two countries as embarked upon in 2018. In particular, restoring trust-based people to people relations among our citizens in the Tigray region and fellow Eritreans across the border is essential.

 

H.E. Ato Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance of Ethiopia, holds a fruitful exchange of views with EU Commissioners

 

H.E. Ato Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance of the Federal Democratic Republic of #Ethiopia, held a fruitful exchange of views with H.E. Madam Jutta Urpilainen, #EU Commissioner for International Partnerships and H.E. Mr Janez LENARCIC, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management in #Brussels on March 24, 2021.

The Minister briefed the Commissioners about overall #developmemts in #Ethiopia including the upcoming national #election. He further explained about concrete steps being taken with regard to the provision of #HumanitarianAssistance and the investigation of #HumanRights violations in the #Tigray region of Ethiopia. The two sides also exchanged views on the current status of Ethio-Sudan boarder, the #GERD negotiations as well as issues concerning #Ethiopia-EU development cooperation.

During the discussion, the #EU side recognised the positive developments registered in allowing unfettered access and the commencement of investigation to bring to justice perpetrators for alleged crimes of human rights violations in the #Tigray region of Ethiopia. They also called to strengthening these postive development.

The EU officials further noted that the #EU highly values its strategic partnership with Ethiopia and its key role in the HoA region.
It’s to be recalled that the two sides reached into ‘Towards EU-Ethiopia Strategic Partnership’ in 2016.

 

H.E. Ambassador Dina Mufti gives the Ministry’s biweekly press briefing

The spokesperson of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, H.E. Ambassador Dina Mufti, gave the Ministry’s biweekly press briefing today (23 March 2021) to the media. In his presentation, the Ambassador focused on political diplomacy, issues on the #Ethiopia-#Sudan border issue, the #GERD negotiation, Humanitarian aid in Tigray, economic diplomacy, and citizen-centered diplomatic activities.

I. #Political Diplomacy

• Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen discussed with the U.S. Delegation led by Senator Chris Coons the humanitarian situation in Tigray and other key issues on Saturday. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke outlined a range of issues including the military operation in Tigray, the border dispute with Sudan, and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. President Joe Biden has dispatched Coons to Ethiopia to meet with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Chairperson of the African Union Commission too.

• H.E. Mr. Demeke Mekonnen Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of #Ethiopia made remarks on Thursday (March 18) at the ministerial meeting of the #AUSPC on Peacekeeping in Africa: Emerging challenges and critical lessons for sustainable Peacekeeping operations. He called for a judicious appreciation of Africa’s contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security. He also highlighted the following as a unified message from Africa:
-peacekeeping missions in Africa must be participatory,
-Stronger coordination amongst African Troop Contributing Countries within the continent, the United Nations and possible bilateral or regional cooperation mechanisms should be present in the face of challenges
-effective and meaningful participation of women in peace operations must be prioritized.
– institutional capacity building through peacebuilding programs should be promoted
• H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia received the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia, H.E. Sami Jamil Abdullahi, at his office on Wednesday (March 17) to discuss issues of mutual concern. Their discussions included the humanitarian support efforts in the Tigray region, the Ethiopia-Sudan border dispute and the issue of Ethiopian migrants in Saudi Arabia, where they have underscored the importance of cooperation in repatriating Ethiopian citizens.

• Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen opened a symposium held on Wednesday (March 17), on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the commencement of the construction of the #GERD. He said completing the flagship project is a matter of assuring the sovereignty of the country. Organized by the Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Energy of #Ethiopia (MoWIE), the symposium aimed to review the progress of the construction of the dam, consult on developments with stakeholders and review the status of the tripartite negotiation. It is underscored that Ethiopia remains committed to a win-win solution for all & strongly believes in African solutions to African problems.

• Ethiopia and China conducted their first political consultation virtually on Tuesday (16 March 2021). The consultation was led by State Minister, H.E. Redwan Hussein, and Assistant Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China, H.E. Deng Li. The meeting covered an exchange of information on domestic political developments, Ethiopia-China strategic partnership, and cooperation in regional and international issues of mutual interest. The humanitarian efforts in Tigray, China’s principled stance on Ethiopia’s case in the UN Peace and Security Council, the GERD, the Ethio-Sudan border, and the importance of upscaling bilateral relations in economic issues were the main points discussed.

• In a statement to the Kenyan media and international media based in Nairobi, Ambassador of Ethiopia to Kenya, H.E. Ambassador Meles Alem, called on the media to balanced coverage of the current situation in Ethiopia. He urged the media to consider changes and report accordingly focusing on the humanitarian situation in Tigray following the unfettered access granted to the media and humanitarians in the region, the Ethio-Sudan border issue and the GERD negotiations.

II. #GERD

• Ethiopia believes in the AU-led dialogue over the Grand Renaissance Dam and hopes the negotiations will commence soon under DRC’s leadership
• Ethiopia remains confident that the AU-led negotiation over the GERD is an ongoing process that will provide win-win solutions to the negotiating parties
• Concerns over the future course of the negotiations, such as the Quartet, have never been officially submitted to Ethiopia.
• The African Union-led negotiation should be finalized before any other option is pursued to solve outstanding issues among the tripartite regarding the GERD.
• In this regard, In case any other option is deemed necessary, the issue shall be treated by pertinent provisions of the Tripartite Declaration of Principles on GERD.

III. #Ethiopia-#Sudan Border Dispute

• The government of Ethiopia has been consistent regarding the need to solve the Ethiopia-Sudan border dispute through negotiation. We will negotiate with Sudan as long as it pulls back its troops out of Ethiopian territories it has occupied as of November 06, 2020
• We urge the international community to continue to pressure Sudan to act respecting international law and according to the provisions of the 1972 Notes it has exchanged with Ethiopia

IV. Humanitarian support in #Tigray

• The Ethiopian government, despite the unfettered access granted to Humanitarians, is still covering 2/3 of the total delivery of aid in the region.
• The Government of Ethiopia reiterates its call to the international community to scale up humanitarian support in the Tigray region

V. #Economic Diplomacy

• The Consulate General in Los Angeles in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia hosted a virtual Investment Forum on Thursday March 18, 2021 to strengthen business ties between Ethiopia and the United States of America. The forum made a successful deliberation on Home-Grown Economic Reform and the Business Environment in Ethiopia, including opportunities & incentives in the priority sectors the country provides to foreign investors. In the investment forum more than 108 company representatives, representatives of chambers of commerce and organizations were represented.

• The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Trade of Canada in collaboration with Ethiopia’s and Senegal’s embassy in Canada has co-hosted the first #Canada-#Africa Clean Growth Symposium which was held virtually for three days from March 15-17, 2021. It aimed at exploring innovative policies to grow robust low-carbon economies and build resilience to climate change and future shocks, fostering cooperation, research and international alliances devoted to clean growth as well as mobilizing capital for clean and low-carbon growth and energy in Africa. The symposium has brought together over 1400 people and included participation from 35 African countries, giving access to highlight potential investment and commercial opportunities on developing clean growth solutions and creating job opportunities. At the end of the Symposium which was held for three days from March 15-17, 2021, Canada’s Minister of International Development, Hon. Karina Gould announced Canada’s contribution of $132.9 million to establish the Canada-African Development Bank Climate Fund, which aims to enhance women’s economic rights and participation in climate action, and to mobilize private capital to fill the climate investment gap in Africa.

• H.E. Ambassador Jemal Beker, Head of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Mission in the Kingdom of Bahrain met with H.E. Mr. Sameer Nass, Chairman of Chamber of Bahrain Commerce and Industry on 16th March 2021 and discussed a range of issues on how to strengthen trade, investment, tourism, and business between the two countries. To this end, H.E. Ambassador Jemal Beker explained the reform Ethiopia is undertaking that creates huge opportunities for FDI through market liberalization, incentive packages, easy rules and regulations of investment, availability of a one-shop service, abundant trained skilled labor and competitive clean energy. On the other side, H.E. Mr. Sameer Nass appreciated the presentation and said availed opportunities in various sectors such as agriculture, agro-processing, manufacturing, and services are of their interest to pursue in Ethiopia.

VI. #CitizenCentered Diplomacy

• Ethiopians living in Taif and Hawaya cities of Saudi Arabia have granted 581 thousand birr to support the Ethiopian Defense Forces that were subjected to a surprise attack from the TPLF clique. In handing over the collected funds to diplomats of the Ethiopian consulate in Jeddah, Community representatives pledged to continue to support the Defense forces and other nationwide projects, such as the GERD. Representatives of the Ethiopian Consulate in Jeddah thanked the community members for the encouraging support and expressed hope that the community in Ta’if and Hawaya would continue supporting critical projects in the country.

• About 1426 Ethiopians have been repatriated from Saudi Arabia and Yemen over the week. Among these, 143 are from Yemen.

#Diaspora Participation

• Ethiopians in living in Los Angeles and Khartoum have made public rallies supporting the law enforcement operation of the federal government in the Tigray region. They have called on the international community and the media to respect Ethiopia’s sovereignty. They have rejected the undue pressures against the government of Ethiopia from some diplomatic corners too.

#MoFA