News: Ethiopia to resume repatriation of its nationals from Saudi Arabia after suspension of operation due to ‘top priorities’

Ambassador Dina Mufti, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

By Getahun Tsegaye @GetahunTsegay12

Addis Abeba, January 13, 2021-  Ethiopia plans to resume the repatriation of stranded Ethiopian citizens in Saudi Arabia in the coming few days, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Dina Mufti announced.

At today’s biweekly press release, ambassador Dina Mufti recalled that the repatriation of Ethiopian nationals in Saudi Arabia was interrupted in the past few weeks due to other ‘top priorities’ that the government was supposed to address timely. “A delegation has been established to facilitate the repatriation and this team will soon leave for Saudi Arabia to bring the stranded back home,” the spokesperson said.

Ambassador Dina Mufti described the past few weeks as a’ successful political landscape’ for Ethiopia stating that many areas occupied by Tigrayan forces in Amhara and Afar regions have now been reclaimed by the government forces. He also mentioned that the international communities were panicking and some of them were leaving the country following the ‘false narration’ that Tigrayan forces were closing in on the capital, Addis Abeba, “The panic has now subsided and life has begun to return to normalcy in many parts of Ethiopia,” he stated.

The Ambassador also discussed PM Abiy Ahmed’s phone conversation with the U.S. President, Joe Biden where the two leaders agreed to enhance further engagements and foster bilateral relationships between Ethiopia and the United States. 

Ambassador Dina Mufti further talked about the meeting of Olusegun Obasanjo, the  High Representative for the Horn of Africa region,  with the TPLF leaders. “Obasanjo went to Mekelle to meet TPLF leaders and he’s engaged with the Ethiopian government as well. The Ethiopian government’s stand for peace has always been aimed at attaining a bigger goal,” adding,” It is the right time for the Ethiopian government to shift from conventional war to diplomatic war and we need to settle peace. Olusegun Obasanjo’s peace talks are still ongoing and there is just nothing ripe to publicize at this moment,” the spokesperson stated at the briefing.

The spokesperson was asked what is the response of the Ethiopian government concerning Egypt’s Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel-Ati speech on Sunday that described the negotiations over the GERD have so far failed to reach a favorable conclusion. In his speech, Abdel Ati said, “It is Ethiopia’s intransigence that has so far prevented the GERD negotiations from reaching a fair agreement between the three concerned countries: Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan,” 

The Ambassador responded, “It is unthinkable that Ethiopia will stop its project on the GERD. In fact, in the coming few weeks or months, we’ve set forth to generate electric power. Egypt’s officials have usually been accusing us of baseless allegations. We have never intended to hurt either Egypt or Sudan. GERD, surprisingly, will benefit Sudan. The Nile riparian negotiation will resume once Sudan regains its internal peace.” AS

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