ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonnen said the Red Sea and Horn of Africa region need more engagement and radical initiatives for expedited regional economic integration and peaceful development.
He further called on the international community to provide solid support to neutralize extremist groups in the region, mentioning the importance of strengthening AMISOM (AU mission in Somalia) in this regard.
The Deputy Prime Minister said this while providing opening remarks at the 58th Munich Security Conference (MSC) Roundtable discussion on the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea on Saturday.
Demeke underlined the importance of creating a functioning framework of cooperation among the Red Sea and Horn African states that would accommodate the interests of all or at least of the majority of stakeholders.
In this regard, he said the “Red Sea Littoral States Forum” that was established in 2019 was neither correct nor practical since it excluded Ethiopia from the Red Sea.
Initiatives to develop common endeavors at multilateral levels to stem the illegal flow of migrants, drugs, and weapons along the Red Sea route should be encouraged, he said.
Though Ethiopia is not a littoral state, he said its proximity to the region makes it logical to incorporate it in any association around the Red Sea.
The Deputy Prime Minister finally called on the International community to give proper recognition to Ethiopia’s decision to conduct an inclusive national dialogue.
Outstanding and emerging challenges in the neighboring countries require sustainable solutions, he concluded.
The three-day Security Conference kicked off on Saturday in a hybrid format bringing together high-ranking decision-makers and prominent opinion leaders from all over the world in Munich to discuss the most pressing security concerns.