Press Release: Ethiopia believes its ties with the European Union ought to be based on the principles of mutual interest and equality

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Ethiopia and the European Union have already jointly embarked working on the “strategic engagement” signed on July last year aimed at transforming the longstanding relations to a much comprehensive, reinforced and structured tie. The strategic engagement focuses on six sectoral dialogues ranging from issues of countering terrorism and violent radicalization to good governance and human rights. This year a consultative forum on good governance and democracy was held successfully.

Meanwhile, at this critical juncture the European Parliament, the legislative body of the Union on May 18, 2017 made forethoughts on Ethiopia, praising the longstanding generosity the country has extended towards refugees from troubled neighboring countries, the unrelenting role it was playing on fighting terrorism and bringing tranquility in Somalia, the commitment the country was showing in ensuring long lasting peace in South Sudan, etc.

While Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, was in Addis on March 2017, the Government of Ethiopia has made an enormous effort to make the discussion between the official and opposition political parties possible.

However, the press release that was, to a significant extent, flawed by bogus information which called for the immediate release on bail and dropping of all charges against Dr. Merera Gudina was not fair and appropriate. The press release wouldn’t do more than undermining the constitutional system of the country.

The release of the press during this crucial time where the Government of Ethiopia was aggressively working towards bringing about the necessary changes that were apparently required to fill the already identified gaps between the public and government institutions wouldn’t do-good to the mounting spirit of cooperation between Ethiopia and the European Union. Such remarks made on suspects who are in jail and whose cases are being taken care by the law of the land lack an obvious understanding of the judicial system and procedure of the country.

Albeit the press release that will have a lesser significance on the enduring growth of the country, Ethiopia will continue to do its level best towards ensuring an upward spiral and mutually beneficial relationship with the European Union built on the principles of equality and measured remarks based on realities on the ground.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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