ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s State minister of foreign affairs, Birukan Ayano, and Unicef Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Mohamed Fall, held discussion over various bilateral issues.
In their meeting in Addis Ababa, “the two sides have exchanged views on the appointment of a new UNICEF country representative and other bilateral issues,” said the Ministry of Foreign affairs (MoFA) in a statement.
Unicef’s top post in the East African nation remains vacant for more than month after Ethiopia expelled the previous representative, Adele Khodr and 6 other UN officials, a month ago for meddling in its internal affairs.
Ethiopia has already requested the UN to “expeditiously replace” the the official “to allow the continuation of our cooperation in providing humanitarian assistance”.
During Monday’s meeting with regional director Mohamed, Ambassador Birtukan expressed her belief that the staff of UNICEF would remain faithful to UN’s humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, and impartiality while operating in the country.
Birtukan, after appreciating the agency’s work in Ethiopia, also called on UNICEF to continue supporting children, women, and displaced people in various parts of Ethiopia.
According to MoFA’s statement, Mohamed, for his part, appreciated the Government for its commitment to work together with UNICEF and reiterated the agency’s commitment to extend its emergency relief support to internally displaced people.
In a message on twitter, Mohamed described his meeting with Birtukan as “very important”.
“We remain committed to our joint work in support of millions of children in need,” he added.
UNICEF has been active in Ethiopia for more than 60 years.
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