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Press Brief


Meles Urges International Community To Support Ethiopia's Poverty Reduction Strategies, Italy To Return Axum Obelisk

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has called on the international community to support Ethiopia's poverty alleviation strategies and programs. He also urged the Italian government to honor its commitment it made 55 years ago to return the Axum obelisk. Addressing the UN World and Agricultural Food (FAO) Summit that opened in Rome, Italy recently, Meles said Ethiopia needs the assistance of the international community to the success of its poverty reduction agenda. Fighting hunger alone would not bring about the desired result, Meles said, adding that poverty could be tackled in a sustainable manner through integrated efforts under the guidance of viable strategies and programs. Meles told the summit that Ethiopia envisages boosting agricultural production and productivity through further promoting the extension program and providing basic agricultural education and training. He said his government has attached paramount importance to enhancing public participation in development endeavors to reduce poverty. The Ethiopian government was striving to improve development infrastructures in rural areas, facilitate the supply of products to local markets and promote exportable items as part of its efforts launched to mitigate the wide spread poverty.
Meles also called on the Italian government to stick to the agreement it had reached with Ethiopia some 55 years ago to return the Axum obelisk. The Prime Minister urged the Italian people and parliament as well as friends of the two countries to do everything in their capacity for the return of the stele to its original place.
WIC June 10,2002

COMESA Most Successful Regional Block in Realizing African Union: Meles

*Ethiopia Takes Current Chairmanship

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) was one of the most successful regional blocks envisaged to play a pivotal role in the realization of the African Union. Meles said it has become abundantly clear that regional economic integration was bedrock for the transformation of the Organization of African Unity into an African Union. Prime Minister made the remarks at the opening of the 7th Summit of the COMESA Heads of State and Government held in Ethiopia. Meles said that African governments must play the leadership role in moving forward the agenda of regional economic integration. " No economic integration agenda, not owned by the African peoples, is going to succeed," Meles noted. The Prime Minister, however, said much has yet to be done to attain the COMESA's economic integration agenda. Meles has stressed the need for Africa and its development partners to work together to bring about a successful transformation and integration of Africa's economies. The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) needs to serve as the guide in the implementation of COMESA's priority agenda, he said. Meles, who has now assumed the current chairmanship of COMESA, has reaffirmed his government's commitment in advancing the agenda for the accelerated development of the region.

ENA May 23,2002

Canadian Premier Visits Ethiopia; NEPAD on Upcoming G-8 Agenda

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien visited Addis Ababa in April as part of a seven-nation African tour, where he presented the keynote address on the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

Chretien noted that NEPAD would be high on the agenda at the upcoming G-8 Summit, which will be held in Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada in July. "Throughout Africa, we see evidence that the underlying principles of NEPAD are taking root", said Chretien. He also met with Prime Minister Meles, who reasserted that African leaders and people alike have the political will and determination to implement NEPAD, which was conceived by Africans for Africans.

The Ethiopian Herald April 11, 2002

Union Plays Leading Role in Realizing African Union: President Girma

President Girma Wolde-Giorgis said the African Parliamentary Union (APU) should contribute its share in support of the regional initiatives being undertaken to realize the African Union (AU). The regional integration and the new partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) couldn't achieve their set objectives unless supported by institutions such as APU, Girma said.

The president was speaking on the 40th meeting of the executive committee of the APU. He said the APU should be in the forefront that could facilitate ways for economic development and ensure the establishment of democratic institutions in the region.

The new " pan-African" initiatives herald the dawn of a new age of development for Africa both at the economic and democratic arena, the president said. House speaker Dawit Yohannes, who is also APU current executive committee chairperson, on his part has stressed the need to strengthen continental efforts to create a working common ground for African representative institutions. Dawit said African Parliaments are not only playing a key role in the processes of strengthening democracy at the domestic level but are also becoming important players in the international arena reflecting the grassroots' desire of their constituencies.

ENA May 6, 2002

Ethiopia, Sudan Establish sub-Committees

Ethiopia and the Sudan have established two sub-committees charged with the task of overseeing the implementation of earlier agreements of expediting trade and enabling free movement of people along the common borders. The sub-committees, formed at a joint meeting of delegations in Gondar town of the Amhara State would work towards creating favorable conditions for border area trade as well as for the easy flow of tourists and people to the border towns.

The sub-committees comprising members drawn from administration, defense, police and immigration offices of the two countries have also signed agreements on various bilateral issues. Head of the Sudanese delegation, Colonel Mohammed Al-Fatah on the occasion expressed his confidence that the newly established sub-committees would further consolidate the existing relations of the two countries. Head of the Ethiopian Delegation, Luel Yehualashet said on his part that the Ethiopian government would work closely and in consultations with the sub-committees, which he said would lay the foundations for closer ties between the two sisterly countries.

ENA June 4, 2002

Ethiopia, Morocco Sign Cooperation Agreements

Ethiopia and Morocco signed two cooperation agreements that would enable them to hold regular consultations between the two countries' foreign ministries and establish a joint ministerial commission. The agreement was signed in Rabat, capital of Morocco. The first agreement provides for cooperation between the two countries' foreign ministries and regular consultation on the situation in the African continent as well as various regional and international issues.
The second agreement enables to set up a joint ministerial commission headed by the two foreign ministers, which would hold an ordinary session every other year, in Ethiopia and Morocco alternatively. Ethiopian minister of foreign affairs, Seyoum Mesfin, who is on a working visit to that country, and his Moroccan counterpart, Mohammed Benaissa, signed the agreements. Speaking at the signing ceremony Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin said Ethiopia wants Morocco to recover its place in the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Morocco also announced that it would grant to four Ethiopian students scholarships to study in Tangiers International Tourism Institute . Earlier, Seyoum had held talks with Moroccan Prime Minister, Abderrahmane Youssoufi and Minister of Economy, Finance, Privatization and Tourism, Fathallah Oulaalou, as well as speaker of the Moroccan House of Peoples' Representatives, Abdelouahed Radi. Morocco, which canceled Africa's poorest countries' debts, is projecting to sign with Ethiopia an agreement on investment protection and avoidance of double taxation as well as an accord on cooperation in tourism, according to the Arabic News report.
ENA, June 11, 2002

Meles, EU Commissioner Discuss Humanitarian Aid Supply

The European Union (EU) will replace direct supply of relief food aid by financial donation to undertake the purchase of food grains at the Ethiopian local markets, Commissioner of Humanitarian Aid with the European Commission told Prime Minister Meles Zenawi during his official visit to Belgium. Commissioner Paul Nelson made the announcement while conferring with Prime Minister Meles in Brussels, Belgium.

The two parties discussed issues related to the volume of relief aid to Ethiopia and the implementation modalities. On the occasion, Nelson expressed appreciation to Ethiopia's food security strategy and the new mode the Ethiopian government is requesting in the implementation of humanitarian relief supply in the country. The long-standing development cooperation that exists between Ethiopia and the European Union has been further consolidated during the past 10 years, Nelson said. He also pledged the Commission's further assistance in policy matters as well as in the designing of programs, which he said the Ethiopian government was undertaking with commendable sense of ownership.

Prime Minister Meles on his part briefed the commissioner about the policies Ethiopia has been pursuing in its endeavors to bring about peace and stability in the Horn of Africa, especially the efforts exerted with regard to changing the grim reality in the stateless neighboring Somalia. Meles also expatiated on the democratization and multi-party system in Ethiopia as well as the achievements and pitfalls that have been witnessed in the process. Meles has specified the material and technical support Ethiopia requires in its attempts to set up and strengthen democratic institutions in the country. Commissioner Nelson commended the political reform in the country and pledged his commitment to
provide all the necessary support needed for enhancing the democratization.

During his stay Prime Minister Meles also met with EU President Pascal Lammy and ACP/EU V/President Glens Kinok and exchanged views on development in Ethiopia and the cooperation between the EU and Ethiopia.

ENA June 7,200

Chinese Foreign Minister Says Visit to Ethiopia Successful

The Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said, recent the three-day visit ,that Ethiopia was very successful. "I am very happy I paid this very successful visit to Ethiopia," the minister told journalists on his departure at the end of his visit.

The Chinese Foreign Minister has met and held talks with President Girma Woldegiorgis and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. President Girma said on the occasion that the existing relation between Ethiopia and China has been built on a firm mutual cooperation and it has been showing a marked progress over the past few years. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on his part told the Chinese Foreign Minister that the two countries should further bolster their relations especially in the areas of trade, investment and health. Meles said Ethiopia was ready to draw lessons from the rich experience of China in the health sector, according to the official.

Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin who has seen off Tang Jiaxuan also said the minister's visit was an extreme success, adding, "It has given us the opportunity to exchange views on a number of issues of mutual interest and of mutual concern". "With regard to bilateral cooperation, we have signed an agreement between the two ministries to have regular political consultations on a regular basis both in Addis and in Beijing," Seyoum said. "We have also signed a grant agreement providing for a technical assistance of the Chinese government," Seyoum said, adding, "we have agreed to expand and enhance our cooperation in the promotion of trade and investment". Ethiopia and China have agreed to continue consultations on this preparatory stage to make the follow up conference a success, Seyoum said. "We will hold a ministerial conference here in Addis Ababa the following year," he added.

ENA January 12, 2002

Addis To Be Headquarters Of IGAD's Conflict Early Warning, Response Mechanism

A meeting held in Entebbe, Uganda has decided Addis Ababa to be the seat of Conflict early warning response mechanism. Utmost efforts have been exerted by the IGAD member states for the last two years to establish Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism, the release quoted the Ethiopian embassy in Kampala as saying. The member states have signed the agreement at the 21st summit of IGAD held in Khartoum, Sudan in January 2002, it said.

According to the embassy, all member states of IGAD are required to ratify the agreement and establish national conflicts early warning and response mechanism institutions in their respective countries. Minister of state for foreign affairs Dr. Tekeda Alemu led the Ethiopia delegation, it said, adding that all member states and secretary general of IGAD have attended the meeting. The German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the United State Agency for International Development (USAID), which have been providing finical assistance for the establishment of Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism as well as foreign consults, were also in attendance.

ENA June 8, 2002


July 2002 Vol.4 No.2