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News: Lawmakers brief EU MPs about Ethiopia’s ‘several options to ensure ownership’ of access to sea outlet

Ethiopian MPs discussing with their European counterparts. Picture: HoPR

Addis Abeba – Ethiopian Members of Parliament comprised of various House Standing Committees briefed visiting EU members of parliament this afternoon on various topics including the “several options” that will enable Ethiopia to “ensure ownership” of access to sea outlet, according to a dispatch by House of People’s Representatives (HoPR).

The briefing to the EU members of parliament led by Isabel Wiseler-Lima from the Subcommittee on Human Rights at the European Union Parliament, also touched on security, political, human rights as well as federalism issues in Ethiopia, HoPR said.

During the discussion, Dr Dima Nego, Chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Relations and Peace Affairs of the House, explained that various efforts were being made to address Ethiopia’s quest for ownership of sea outlet “based on mutual benefit in a peaceful and diplomatic way.” He told the visiting MP that “there are several options that will enable Ethiopia to assert ownership of the sea outlet.”

The discussion of Ethiopia’s quest for access to sea outlet entered the public discourse in Ethiopia following remarks by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed that “the Red Sea and the Nile will determine Ethiopia. They are interlinked with Ethiopia and will be the fundamentals that will either bring in Ethiopia’s development or bring about its demise.”

The Prime Minister has since clarified his remarks that despite widespread speculations of heightened tension in the Horn of Africa region, Ethiopia’s quest for sea outlet and to have its own port is neither a new agenda, nor designed to threaten the sovereignty of neighboring countries in the Horn. He has nonetheless said Ethiopia was building a Navy, and that it was clear that it needs a sea. “The agenda is clear,” he told lawmakers, referring Ethiopia’s less talked about preparations of a Naval force and adding that it was not correct to misrepresent the agenda as something new.

In today’s briefing Dima explained that Ethiopia’s foreign policy “does not support interference in other sovereign countries.” He further stated that it is in Ethiopia’s interest if the ongoing wars between Russia and Ukraine and between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip to be resolved peacefully. AS

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