By Getahun Tsegaye @GetahunTsegay12
Addis Abeba, August 19/2021 – Ambassador Dina Mufti, the Spokesperson of the Ministry Foreign Affairs (MoFA), gave the ministry’s biweekly press briefing today to local and international media where he discussed top political, economic and citizen-centered diplomacy agendas.
Addressing recent diplomatic approaches, Amb. Dina addressed the meeting of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Demeke Mekonnen with U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Mr. Jeffrey Feltman. The Spokesperson affirmed that DPM and FM Demeke Mekonnen expressed Ethiopia’s standings and expectations from the U.S. including condemning what he described as “destructive actions” of the invading TPLF forces in a way that values the relationship between the two countries.
The Spokesperson in the press briefing discussed three recent statements by the federal government and addressed mostly to partners in the international community. The Spokesperson disclosed that one statement asked the international community to exert pressure on the TPLF to accept the Unilateral Ceasefire and to stop its invasion of neighboring regions, another asked the international community to provide protection to Lalibela’s Rock Hewn Churches (A UNESCO registered world heritage site) against TPLF, while the last statement addressed the Amnesty International report.
The report accused Ethiopia and Eritrea of allegedly committing war crimes in Tigray. Amb. Dina addressed the response and said,, “Amnesty’s report is based on a flawed methodology and relies heavily on interviews conducted in refugee camps in the Sudan and more interviews facilitated by community workers.”
The Spokesperson also discussed roles to be played by ambassadors and other diplomatic staff of the ministry outposted in Ethiopia’s overseas missions. The Ambassador highlighted the work of Ethiopian ambassadors to Saudi Arabia and South Sudan.
The Spokesperson also highlighted efforts made by the diaspora community in Europe to ease according to him the international pressure Ethiopia is facing and present atrocities committed by the TPLF. He also briefed contributions of Ethiopian diasporas in money and in kind for the GERD, and the defense forces.
Addressing citizens -enter diplomacy, Dina explained that in the past two weeks, a total of 231 people have returned from Djibouti. Besides, 46 were from Kenya, 60 were from Sudan and 79 were from Yemen. He highlighted efforts made to return at least 1,000 Ethiopian migrants from Saudi Arabia in three flights per week and the efforts are being made to help Ethiopian refugees in various detention centers and prisons in Saudi Arabia.
Moreover, while answering questions in regard to low efforts made by Ethiopia’s embassy in Saudi Arabia to help Ethiopian detainees and migrants, Dina stated that the MoFA received such complaints and was working hard to address the needs of such migrants. He said, “The government is currently prioritizing bringing children, women and migrants with health issues and later we would bring the rest of the stranded migrants.”
On the status of Ethio-Turkey relationship, He said, “Ethiopia’s foreign relations policy is securing national interest and the Ethiopian government does not believe in the existence of any political bloc following the end of the Cold War.” The spokesperson highlighted the visit by Prime Abiy Ahmed to Turkey and explained that there wasn’t any hidden agenda other than fostering the two countries’ historical friendship..
Addressing recent moves by both France and China to cancel military aid and loan agreements respectively, Amb. Dina said,”The occurrence of such incidents are normal and are expected to happen in bilateral relations,” he added, “This does not mean Ethiopia failed to maintain healthy relations with these countries, especially with the very strong economic relations with China.” AS