Ethiopia boasts of 'successful' diplomacy

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Addis Ababa, 12 June 2014 (WIC) - Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom has praised his country's "successful" diplomatic efforts to bolster relations with world countries, Anadolu Agency reported.
Presenting a report to parliament on Wednesday about his ministry's performance over the past nine months, Adhanom said that Ethiopian diplomacy had been successful in boosting ties with other countries.

"Leaders and higher-level government officials of 60 different countries have visited Ethiopia during the reported period and this helped to hold fruitful discussions to further intensify existing bilateral relations," he told parliament.

The country's top diplomat said Ethiopian officials had also visited various countries "and carried out activities enabling the establishment of strategic partnerships."

He asserted that the Ethiopian authorities had bolstered relations with neighboring Djibouti and Sudan, going on to note that a recent visit by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyata to Ethiopia had helped boost Ethiopian-Kenyan friendship.

"Ethiopia has carried out successful activities to closely monitor the peace process in Somalia and has worked to create a situation to help the warring parties in South Sudan sign a ceasefire agreement," he said.

"Ethiopia has been working to speed up development in collaboration with all neighboring states, except Eritrea," Adhanom added.

He went on to state that "successful results are registered in the campaign carried out towards execution of the sanction imposed on the government of Eritrea, which is engaged in destabilizing the region."

"Eritrea's campaign, launched to lift the sanctions imposed upon it, has failed this year. It has continued the campaign to lift the sanction by next year. However, we are undertaking an activities plan to extend the sanction imposed on it," he added.

Regarding the dispute between Ethiopia and Egypt over a multibillion-dollar hydroelectric dam being built by Addis Ababa on the Nile, Adhanom said that Egypt had launched a campaign aimed at hindering the dam's construction and "internationalizing" the issue.

"However, the necessary preparations are underway to respond accordingly," he said.

Relations between Cairo and Addis Ababa soured last year over Ethiopia's construction of a $6.4-billion hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile. The project raised alarm bells in Egypt, which relies on the river for almost all its water needs.

However, newly-inaugurated Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said he would not allow the Ethiopian dam to adversely affect Egypt's relations with Ethiopia or other African countries – a gesture that was welcomed by the Ethiopian foreign minister.

Water distribution among Nile Basin states has long been regulated by a colonial-era treaty – which Ethiopia says it has never acknowledged – that gives Egypt and Sudan the lion's share of river water.