Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen had a meeting on Thursday (April 14) at his office with H.E. Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs Peace and Security. During their discussion,
• The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister noted the constructive peace-building initiatives that the Government of Ethiopia has been undertaking so far.
• He said the release of high-profile political figures from prison, the lifting of the state of emergency before its due time, and the proposed National Dialogue demonstrate the Government's commitment to ensuring lasting peace in the country.
• The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister also stressed that the Ethiopian Government took into account the well-being of its citizens in the Tigray region when declaring the indefinite humanitarian truce that paved the way for unfettered access to humanitarian aid in the region.
• In connection with that, he said, aside from the frequent humanitarian flights made to Mekelle, the delivery of aid to Tigray has been facilitated via road transport, including the 50-truck convoy of the WFP and the UN-that delivered food items and fuel to Mekelle.
• The two sides also underscored the need to encourage and support the peace initiatives of the AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa (HoA) region, Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo.
• Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen reaffirmed to Ambassador Bankole Adeoye that Ethiopia would remain committed to the peace initiative of the former Nigerian President under the auspices of the AUC.
• Discussing the trilateral negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister reiterated Ethiopia’s firm commitment to resume the AU-led negotiations maintaining its stance for a win-win outcome.
• Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, on his part, appreciated the peace measures taken by the Ethiopian Government, further expressing hope that the initiatives would bring about durable peace in the country.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H.E. Demeke Mekonnen had a meeting yesterday at his office with Dr. Christopher Elias, the President of the Global Development Division of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The discussion between the two sides focused on ways to strengthen the development programs that the foundation has been carrying out in Ethiopia so far. During their discussion, the Deputy Prime Minister:
• Appreciated the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s critical development projects in Ethiopia and expressed Ethiopia’s interest to work together with the Foundation in various sectors, including education, health and agriculture.
• The Deputy Prime Minister also reiterated the government’s efforts to support people whose lives are endangered due to drought and the conflict in the northern part of the country.
• He said there are about 24 million Ethiopians who are in need of emergency lifesaving support that necessitated cooperation among humanitarian operators and development partners, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Dr. Christopher Elias, on his part,
• Reaffirmed the Foundation’s commitment to work on the ongoing development projects in Ethiopia
• He said the Foundation would give a special focus and work on the priority development areas that are identified by the Ethiopian government.
• Ha also spoke about the current high costs of fertilizer and agricultural products and the commitment of the Foundation to support the Ethiopian government’s efforts in this regard.
Ethiopia was got elected to the Executive Board of the World Food Program over the week. The Permanent Mission of Ethiopia to the UN stated that Ethiopia looks forward to contributing to the work of the world's largest humanitarian organisation in its efforts to support countries to change lives in difficult circumstances all around the world.
The second round of tree planting event was held in Djibouti as part of expanding Ethiopia’s Green Legacy initiative to neighboring countries. H.E. Berhanu Tsegaye, Ethiopian Ambassador in Djibouti as well as diplomats and staff of the Ethiopian Embassy in Djibouti have checked the status of previously planted trees. Ethiopia has delivered 200,000 seedlings so far and upon the request of the Government of Djibouti 40,000 more seedlings will be provided.
At a UN Security Council debate on Women, Peace & Security, Ethiopia noted its zero-tolerance policy on sexual violence and efforts to hold accountable perpetrators of such crimes; and underlined politicization of human rights & double standards only undermine international efforts.
H.E. Ambassador Melaku Legesse, non-resident Ambassador of Ethiopia to the Republic of Guinea-Bissau presented the copy of his credential to H.E. Suzi Carla Barbosa Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau. The two sides discussed issues of mutual interest and reach an understanding of ways to enhance the bilateral relations in various sectors.
The Director General of the Protocol Affairs Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Demeke Atanafu, met with Mr. Claude Gibdar, the new Representative of the World Food Program in Ethiopia. The two sides noted the need to work together to enhance WFP’s support to deliver aid to man-made and natural disasters.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement yesterday welcoming the Statement issued by the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Addis Ababa refuting the unfounded reports of recruitment for the Russian Armed Forces. The Embassy has clarified that it has not been accepting any applications for recruitment and that it abides by the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Had the recruitment happened, it would have violated Ethiopian law too.
II. On the visit of #Israeli
MPs and Health Professionals
• An Israeli delegation of health professionals led by former Israeli Deputy Minister of Security and current member of the Israeli parliament, Gadi Yevarken along with two other members of the Knesset has visited Ethiopia over the week. The visit was aimed to assist in the reconstruction of damaged health facilities due to the conflict in the northern part of the country.
• The visit was said to have been made under the auspices of the Society for International Development Israel (SID Israel)- an umbrella organization that brings together over 170 Israeli private companies, government agencies, civil society organizations, academic programs, and institutions.
• During its stay in Ethiopia, the group met with H.E. President Sahle-Work Zewde, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, the Minister of Health, H.E. Dr. Lia Tadesse, the Amhara Regional State officials, and the President of the University of Gondar. The medical professionals have also treated patients and conducted urgent operations in Gondar.
• During the meeting between the Ethiopian President and the Israeli delegation, President Sahle-Work Zewede appreciated the initiative of the delegation and called on Ethiopia and Israel to further cement their longstanding relationship with expanded engagements in investment, agriculture and health sectors.
• In meeting the Israeli delegation on Thursday (April 14), Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen expressed his appreciation to the Israeli delegation for taking such a constructive initiative at this critical time. He said this timely initiative demonstrated the friendly relations between Ethiopia and Israel and would help cement the longstanding ties between the two countries. The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and Members of the delegation stressed that the initiative should transcend the short-term objectives of reconstructing damaged health institutions. As part of the long-term objective, the Israeli delegation expressed a keen interest to work closely with the Black Lion Hospital and other health institutions in Ethiopia.
• It is to be recalled that the TPLF, disregarding the Ethiopian government’s declaration of a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire on June 28, 2020, had invaded the Amhara and Afar regional states and committed unimaginable atrocities on civilians and public services, including schools and health facilities. The Amhara Health Office report, following the expulsion of the TPLF from the region, indicated that the TPLF destroyed 82 government health offices, 40 hospitals, 453 health stations, 1,850 health posts, four blood banks, and an oxygen plant. The Afar Regional State Health Bureau also reported that the TPLF made a hospital, 17 health centers, and 42 health posts out of operation during its invasion of the region.
Ethiopian delegation attended Specialty Coffee Expo 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts, North America’s largest gathering of specialty coffee professionals. The Expo 2022 featured over 420 exhibiting companies and welcomed over 10,000 attendees. The Ethiopian delegation had a successful engagement for the expansion of coffee export.
Ethiopian Embassy in South Africa took part in World Travel Market Africa and the side events of the African Tourism Investment Summit held from April 11 to 13, 2022 at Cape Town International Convention Center. In the three-day event, Ethiopian tourist destinations and tourist site projects that are open to foreign investors were promoted.
Ethiopian Ambassador to Turkey, H.E. Adam Mohammed, and Ethiopian Airlines Area General Manager, Fakia Abdelrahman held talks with Turkish Acting Director General of Civil Aviation, Prof. Dr. Kemal Yuksek. The discussion noted the need to expedite the implementation of the agreement signed between the Ethiopian and Turkish Airlines last year in September to use the wide-body passenger and cargo flights in Addis Ababa and Istanbul.
• 3,320 Ethiopians have been repatriated from Saudi Arabia since last Thursday.
• 32 Ethiopian migrants in Lebanon were repatriated to Ethiopia on April 14. The Ethiopians were living in Lebanon without proper documentation. Coordinated efforts among the Ethiopian Consulate in Beirut, the government of Lebanon and Ethiopian Airlines have played important role in safely repatriating our citizens.
• Over the past three weeks, efforts by the Ethiopian embassy in Kuwait have resulted in more than 100 undocumented migrants being repatriated to their home countries. Meanwhile, the Ambassador of Ethiopia to Kuwait, H.E. Hassan Taju, has visited Ethiopians detained in makeshift and deportation centers. The Ambassador thanked the officials of the detention centers for the good treatment of our citizens and for the efforts being made to return Ethiopians to their country soon.
• The National committee established to oversee and facilitate the Eid-to-Eid call had a virtual meeting over the week with Ethiopian mission leaders regarding ongoing preparations to facilitate the homecoming process. The leaders of Ethiopian missions in neighboring countries, Europe, and North America have participated in the meeting. Chairperson of the Committee, State Minister H.E. Ambassador Bitukan Ayano said activities in the Eid-to-Eid call are underway in line with the plans announced recently. Ethiopian mission leaders who participated in the meeting have detailed their activities regarding the Eid-to-Eid call which included ongoing works with various associations of the Ethiopian diaspora community.
• In a meeting held in London with the presence of former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Ambassador Teferi Melese, scholars, authorities on Black History, dignitaries, and prominent individuals have announced preparations to establish Global Black History, Heritage, and Education Centre in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. Former Prime Minister, Hailemariam Dessalegn pledges to support the initiative.
• The Ethiopian mutual aid association gathered under the banner of “Me too for my country” has mobilized 10,000 euros to help displaced Ethiopians in the Amhara and Afar regions. They have finalized their preparations to travel to Ethiopia on the occasion of the Eid festivities to donate the money they have collected.
The Ethiopian Diaspora Agency concluded its five days study visit in India last week. The delegation, including experts from GIZ-Ethiopia (the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development formerly known as BMZ) was led by the Deputy Director of the Agency Dr. Mohammed Endris. The visit was aimed at sharing experiences and exchanging views with similar Indian organizations that deal with the diaspora. Relevant Indian organizations related their experience on issues of diaspora engagement strategies, government management approaches, diaspora investment & trade incentives, diaspora knowledge and technology transfer, diaspora mapping and diaspora data & information management systems by the government.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff members had a meeting yesterday to deliberate a 90 days plan laid out by each directorate general in the Ministry. The plan was said to be crafted out of the needs of the people that was reflected during the recently held public discussions between members of the parliament, government officials and the public at large. The newly laid out 90 days plan of the institution stressed the need to provide quality and expedited service to the public.