Ethiopia is set to send a goodwill mission that seeks to appease the United States government into reversing its travel ban on high government officials, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Dina Mufti said on Wednesday.
In his weekly press briefing, Dina indicated that the Ministry has already conducted deliberations with different stakeholders including friends of Ethiopia, members of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and other influential personalities including the US Republican Senator, Jim Inhofe, to deal with the current diplomatic row.
It can be recalled that there were government sponsored mass demonstrations over the last weekend, where many flooded the streets of different cities of the country, including the capital, to denounce US interference. The demonstrators held pictures of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
The situation left geopolitical and international relations analysts wondering if Ethiopia is looking to shift its diplomatic ties to the East.
However, Dina briefed members of the media that Ethiopia is not willing to go back to a Cold-War era type of diplomatic relations, where countries are lined-up into two polarized blocks.
He underscored that Ethiopia’s foreign policy has no intention of allying with a single nation; it rather aspires and explores to forge better relations with countries situated in every corner of the globe so long as they meet Ethiopia’s national interest.
It can be recalled that in a fundraising event for Fasil Kenema sports club held last week, President of the Oromia Regional State, Shimels Abdissa downplayed the US travel ban and said: “We have nothing to lose, what we lose is rotten wheat only.”
However, his unwarranted statement soon became a point of discussion and many advised that the government better handle the issue very carefully.
Responding to such comments and advises, Dina said: “It is a personal feeling and opinion; beyond that, those individuals and regional officials have little role in Ethiopia’s foreign relations.” He underscored that MoFA is the leading body in Ethiopian foreign affairs.
Regarding the withdrawal of Eritrean forces from Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the spokesperson said: “Hopefully, one day, they will withdraw from the area.”