By Getahun Tsegaye @GetahunTsegay12
Addis Abeba – At today’s bi-weekly press briefing Ambassador Dina Mufti, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) invited the United States and other countries to work on their diplomatic relations with Ethiopia. The Ambassador referred to the recent visit of the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Kenya. He also recalled Blinke’s discussion on important regional issues, including the situations in both Ethiopia and Somalia, with Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and said, “Instead of taking matters that concern Ethiopia to third parties, we invite the U.S. and other countries to engage with us directly.”
Addressing the evaluation of three months’ performance of the ministry, the ambassador said, “The Ministry was successful in the realms of maintaining Ethiopia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, withstanding the UN Security Council pressure and encouraging a pan-African movement.” He discussed the events unfolding in both Sudan and Somalia and argued that both events resulted from foreign interventions and advised that issues be settled through an African-led initiative. He said, “In fact, their conflicts have spillover effects on Ethiopia and the Ethiopian government will help them in their endeavors to handle the issues.”
He went on to discuss political, economic, and citizen-centered diplomacy policies and addressed an event dubbed as “Great Homecoming Challenge” that will be held at Wodajinet Park in Addis Abeba led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Demeke Mekonnen as an appreciation for Diaspora role in initiatives related to the economic, social and political welfare of the country.
He further disclosed that during the Homecoming Challenge, designated institutions will facilitate with the diaspora to have them engaged in the reconstruction programs including in tourism, investment, and other sectors throughout the country.
When asked about the safety of travel to areas under the control of Federal and allied forces especially in the case of Lalibela, the spokesperson said, “Flights and other means of transportations are readily available and Lalibela will host the coming Epiphany holiday at a larger scale,” he added, “Details will be provided by the Amhara Regional Government as to how the holiday will be celebrated.”
Before concluding the briefing the spokesperson addressed the issue of repatriating citizens from Saudi Arabia. He admitted that the MoFA was receiving complaints that the embassy and general consulate in Riyadh and Jeddah were denying citizens assistance. He urged the said institutions to dispose of their responsibilities accordingly. AS