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News: Ethiopia says holding of 35th AU in capital ‘grand diplomatic success’

Ambassador Dina Mufti, spokesperson of the ministry of foreign affairs

By Getahun Tsegaye @GetahunTsegay12

Addis Abeba, January 20, 2022 – “The African Union decision to convene the 35th AU Summit in Addis Abeba is a grand diplomatic success for Ethiopia,” said the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia (MoFA) ambassador Dina Mufti during today’s biweekly press briefing.

The spokesperson said that Ethiopia was faced with diplomatic pressure while securing the AU Summit at its headquarters, Addis Abeba. “There have been paramount pressures from various entities and some African countries either to cancel the summit or to host it in a different place under the pretext of Ethiopia’s security situation and COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ambassador Dina before adding, “Ethiopia was successful in deterring these pressures through diplomatic efforts and the hosting of the Summit in Addis Abeba reiterate the prevalence of peace and stability in the country.”

Still, on the agenda of the summit, Ambassador Dina Mufti disclosed that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam  (GERD) will not be on the agenda for the upcoming Summit. He said that the major agenda for the summit will be food security and agriculture.

He added, “Ethiopia is on the verge of generating power from GERD shortly and the interrupted tripartite negotiation shall resume when things are in good condition,”  

When asked whether Ethiopia is providing recognition to Somaliland following the recent official visit of Somaliland’s President Muse Bihi Abdi to Ethiopia, Ambassador Dina Mufti underscored that his visit to Ethiopia was to foster bilateral relations between the two countries and it did not have an agenda of state recognition. “Our relationship with Somaliland won’t jeopardize Ethiopia’s diplomatic ties with Somalia. In fact,  Somalia’s issue is an internal affair and Ethiopia won’t intervene at all.”

Addressing the security situation in the country, Ambassador Dina Mufti spoke about rumors that Turkey was planning to move its embassy from Ethiopia. He said, “Turkey has not closed or moved its embassy. It expressed through official channels that it has security concerns and in turn the Ethiopian government ensured its commitment to safeguarding all diplomatic communities in the country. The government will diligently work on security surveillance to ensure such apprehensions.”

Again the spokesperson discussed the situation of Ethiopian citizens stranded in Saudi Arabia. “The delegation has already been composed and is waiting for a visa to leave for Saudi Arabia to help the citizens.” 

Ambassador Dina Mufti further slammed the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom for what he described as ‘unacceptable behavior’. He recalled, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote a letter to the executive board of the WHO accusing Doctor Tedros of spreading misinformation and financially supporting TPLF,” he said.

Concluding the press, the spokesperson answered questions about the ongoing military engagement in Oromia and if the government was aware that the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) referred to as  Shane in government communication is active in the Moyale area. He answered, ” We are not aware of such a thing, and reporting it to the Oromia regional government is very crucial,” he added, “War is holistic in nature and the government will not chase after every ambush by armed forces. It has to strive to achieve diplomatic success in many aspects.” AS

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