Ethiopia expressed readiness to host the Africa-Russia forum in Addis Ababa next year.
Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonnen, on Wednesday visited Moscow where he met with Russian Foreign Affairs Minister, Sergey Lavrov.
Demeke briefed Mr. Lavrov on the state of the rehabilitation work and humanitarian aid delivery in the Tigray region following the war. He also mentioned that media outlets are given access to cover the situation in the region and the allegations of human rights abuse are being investigated, as reported by state media – Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC).
The election that took place on Monday this week was also among the issues the Mr. Lavrov was briefed about. Demeke said it was peaceful (the African Union Election Observation Mission has similar assessment)
From international affairs, Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the border dispute with Sudan, Sudan’s invasion of Ethiopian territories to be more exact, were discussed.
Ethiopia advocates for an African solution to the disagreement over GERD which is where there is alignment with Russia. For Russia, the African Union is the right platform to resolve the dispute over Ethiopia’s mega dam, since the three counties have representation in the continental organization.
Mr. Demeke expressed to Mr. Lavrov Ethiopia’s readiness to host the Africa-Russia forum in Addis Ababa come next year.
Lavrov on his part reiterated that Russia believes the African Union led negotiation on GERD should continue and that Russia will not support any form of intervention in the Ethiopian internal affairs. He also said that Russia has interest in offering technical support.
According to a report by Ethiopian state media, Russia and Ethiopia have resolved to sign an agreement to enhance cooperation in the areas of education, capacity building, science and technology.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) over which Ethiopia has disputes with Sudan and Egypt, and the law enforcement operation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia ate the two issues that invited foreign intervention from Western countries- the United States and the European Union to be specific. The United States of America went to the extent of introducing visa sanctions against Ethiopian leaders.
The United States and its allies have been alleging “genocide” and the use of “famine as a weapon of war” in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, which is not proven to date. The Ethiopian government and a considerably high number of Ethiopians reject the allegation. It is rather seen as a pretext to intervene in the internal affairs of Ethiopia and rescue TPLF – which the Ethiopian Parliament designated as “terrorist” since May of this year.
The conflict in the region started after TPLF attacked several military bases of the northern command of the Ethiopian Defense Force on November 24.