Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Policy Still Focuses on Neighboring Countries

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Addis Ababa, January 2, 2013 (WIC) - Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Policy still strategically focuses on neighboring countries as stability most matters in the sub-region.

The MPs asked the Premier to gauge the current status of Ethiopia’s relations with neighboring countries concerning peace and stability.

He reiterated his countries position that Ethiopia continues to remain steadfast to put in crucial roles for stability and peace as well as to economically integrate the sub-region with infrastructure and electric power inter-connectivity.

He also explained the situation of Somalia that has seen unprecedented wind of change due to the commitment Ethiopia and IGAD took. Somalia, he added, has enjoyed relative peace after tumultuous two decades; it also elected new president after ratifying a new constitution.

Al-Shebab, the terrorist network in Somalia, has suffered big losses there and is now down to extinction thanks to concerted effort from IGAD and AU, he told the House.

He affirmed Ethiopia will do everything in its power to further boost the improving situation there with IGAD and AU.

According to ERTA, the Premier gave the latest on Sudan and South Sudan saying 90 per cent of the issues that need agreement have been concluded successfully months ago. Yet the agreement has not been implemented due to few contentious issues that still need further negotiations for which Ethiopia is doing its best.

In connection with Eritrea, PM Hailemariam underscored Ethiopia has already put a peaceful option on the table and it will remain there to settle the territorial dispute through negotiations. It is up to Eritrean government to come to terms with negotiated solutions than engaging in destabilizing the Horn.