Ethiopia's foreign policy brings peace and development over past years
State Minister of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Taye Atske Selassie said Ethiopia's post-1991 foreign policy brings peace and stability as well as economic development to the country. The state minister made the remark on Wednesday at a panel discussion organized in connection with the 25th anniversary of May 28 Victory Day for resident ambassadors and diplomats.
Ethiopia's foreign policy redefined poverty, not neighboring countries, as a threat for the country's survival and gave emphasis for peaceful co-existence.
He said the policy was designed in the way to embrace Ethiopia's neighbors and it is the major factor behind the country's huge involvement in regional economic integration. The policy is also the contributing factor for the country to achieve most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to improve infrastructures such as cross-border roads, railways, communication and electric lines among others, Ambassador Taye stated.
The state minister noted, however, that Eritrea's continuous efforts of destabilizing Ethiopia by smuggling insurgents and the insatiability in Horn of Africa has posed a challenge for the country's peace.
Ambassador Taye indicated Ethiopia is defending its sovereignty and striving to alienate the government of Eritrea from the international community to enforce it to stop its wrongdoings. Implementing Comprehensive Framework Agreement (CFA) and other agreements to utilize cross-border rivers, combating terrorism and militant groups and controlling illegal migration need to be given due consideration by East African countries to materialize regional integration, the state minister noted.
A professor of public policy at the Addis Ababa University (AAU), Dr. Costantinos Berhe said in his research paper presented at the event that Ethiopia has a paramount role in regional integration through working together with IGAD and other regional organizations. Dr. Costantinos stated the country has a strong belief in mutual growth and invested a huge sum of money to create road, railway, water and power connectivity with its neighbors.
The professor noted that currently Ethiopia exports 100 and 50 megawatt of electricity to Sudan and Djibouti, respectively and power export is also expected to expand to Kenya, Tanzania and other East African countries.
Costantinos said the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) also manifested the country's desire to connect the East African region through electricity besides satisfying the local demand.
Middle Eastern countries including Yemen and Saudi Arabia have also shown interest to buy electricity from Ethiopia, he noted.
It was stated currently Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania ratified the Comprehensive Framework Agreement (CFA) which aimed to enable Nile riparian countries to fairly utilize the water and the other four countries are in various stages of ratification.
Vigilant political and military preparedness is needed to avert the impact of instability in East Africa and Middle East so as to keep the momentum of the economic growth, Dr. Costantinos said.