Addis Ababa, February 10, 2021 (FBC) -Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen received at his office today the EU Envoy and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Pekka Haavisto.
At the meeting, Demeke briefed the Envoy on the on-going rehabilitation and reconstruction activities in the Tigray region.
The Government in collaboration with the interim administration in the region and international organizations is working tirelessly to provide the necessary humanitarian assistance while putting various infrastructure destroyed by the TPLF back to service, said the Minister.
Demeke also pointed out that access to humanitarian actors who desire to provide services to the needy has already been granted and 26 humanitarian agencies are now on the ground working with local authorities to reach out to the beneficiaries.
Stressing the need to further strengthen the close partnership with the EU, the Deputy Prime Minister expressed the concerns of the Ethiopian Government regarding the statements by the EU’s Commission, particularly the decision to postpone the budget sector support and 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 also called on 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 6 November 2020 and explained to the Envoy about Ethiopia’s position regarding the matter, particularly the unflinching stance of respecting the pre-November 6 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.
Dr Seleshi expressed the readiness of Ethiopia to finalize the negotiations and stressed the need to urge the other parties to do the same within the framework of the African Union through the spirit of providing African solutions to African problems.
Haavisto, on his part, said that the European Union understands the measures that the Ethiopian Government is taking to address the humanitarian situation and emphasized the need to scale up access and provisions of humanitarian assistance to the region.
He also pointed out for Ethiopian Human Rights Commission to step up its efforts in investigating human rights cases and expressed the importance of maintaining the strategic partnership between Ethiopia and the EU on various fields of cooperation.