FM Demeke, EU Envoy Discuss Rehabilitation Effort in Tigray, GERD

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen, has held talks with European Union’s Envoy and Foreign Minister Finland, Pekka Haavisto, about the ongoing rehabilitation and reconstruction activities in the Tigray region.

The minister told the envoy that the Government, in collaboration with the interim administration of the region, “is working tirelessly to provide the necessary humanitarian assistance while putting back various infrastructure destroyed by the TPLF back to service”.

Up to 26 humanitarian agencies are helping the assistance effort on the ground, Demeke, who is also deputy prime minister of Ethiopia, added.

Although the government says it wants to further strengthen the close partnership with the EU, the latest statement the Union issued has disappointed authorities.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Demeke expressed the concerns of the Ethiopian Government regarding the statements by the EU’s Commission, particularly the decision to postpone the budget sector support.

He also indicated that the action is counterproductive to the collective efforts underway to timely and effectively address the humanitarian situation and sustain the development gains achieved since the reform has begun.

He urged the EU to understand the situation, and as a strategic partner, to continue to play a constructive role to help Ethiopia overcome its challenges.

On the border situation with Sudan, Demeke recounted the events that took place since 06 November 2020 and explained to the Envoy of Ethiopia’s position regarding the matter, particularly the unflinching stance of respecting the pre-November 06 status quo and allowing the established mechanisms to continue to discharge their duties.

He also reiterated the commitment of the Ethiopian Government to resolve the matter amicably and peacefully.

Attending the meeting was also Dr. Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation, and Energy who briefed Haavsito regarding the negotiations of the GERD.

Seleshi expressed the readiness of Ethiopia to finalize the negotiations and stressed the need to urge the other parties to do the same through the spirit of providing African solutions to African problems.

According to Ministry of foreign Affairs, Haavisto said that the European Union understands the measures that the Ethiopian Government is taking to address the humanitarian situation.

He, however, emphasized on the need to scale up access and provisions of humanitarian assistance to the region, the ministry says.