Monday, June 17, 2024
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Ethiopia seeks France’s support for peaceful access to sea, enhanced naval presence

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By our staff reporter

Ethiopia asserts that it has been actively engaging neighboring countries in peaceful discussions regarding its need for a sea outlet. However, there seems to be a tendency to misconstrue Ethiopia’s genuine intentions and exaggerate its desires.

The recent situation in the Red Sea has prompted Ethiopia to advocate for a naval force presence in the region, with the primary goal of ensuring comprehensive safety and security. This viewpoint was shared by Dima Nego, Chairperson of the Standing Committee, during a meeting held on Wednesday, January 17th. The meeting involved a delegation from the National Assembly Committee on National Defense and Armed Force of France and the Foreign Affairs and Peace Standing Committee of the Ethiopian Parliament.

Tawfik Abdullahi (Amb), the chair of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee, took the opportunity to address the French delegation, led by Thomas Gassilloud, the chair of the National Assembly Committee on National Defense and Armed Force. The discussion took place at the parliament’s office of the Foreign Affairs and Peace Standing Committee. Tawfik reminded the French delegation that Ethiopia is actively involved in multiple peacekeeping missions, emphasizing the region’s significance as a top priority for the country.

Tawfik clarified that Ethiopia’s approach to acquiring a sea coastline is based on a peaceful give-and-take approach. He highlighted that Ethiopia has persistently presented its proposal to regional countries, expressing the need for a sea outlet, but unfortunately, there has been misinformation suggesting that Ethiopia is willing to resort to war to achieve its objective.

A senior diplomat and parliament member explicitly stated that some of Ethiopia’s allies, including the European Union, have misinterpreted Ethiopia’s nonviolent endeavors. The diplomat emphasized the importance of France’s support, given its good exposure and careful monitoring of the region. France’s assistance will greatly contribute to Ethiopia’s goal of peacefully gaining access to the sea.

Dima Nego recalled that France played a pioneering role approximately five years ago when Ethiopia reestablished its naval force. This historical collaboration strengthens the belief that France will continue to support Ethiopia’s efforts to expand its naval capabilities. The recent agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland also provides favorable conditions for Ethiopia to activate its marine force.

Furthermore, Dima Nego expressed confidence that his administration is fully prepared to address any issues amicably. The members of the Standing Committee echoed their desire for France to maintain its support across various sectors, including politics, technology, tourism, and investment.

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