17 January 2013

Ethiopia: Foreign Minister Meets the UK's Director for Africa

Dr. Tedros yesterday (January 16th) met the Director for Africa at the United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr. Nick Kay. Mr. Kay was in Addis Ababa to brief the Foreign Minister about the conference on Somalia that the UK is planning to host in May 2013. Mr. Kay said the objective of his visit was to reach out and interact with important stakeholders in the region.

He briefed the Minister about his meetings with the Presidents of Somalia, Kenya and Uganda as well as the Chairperson of the AU Commission and the UN Special Envoy for Somalia. Mr. Kay said the UK aimed to link the conference to the priorities of the Government of Somalia, and he identified four priority areas for consultation: security, justice, public financial management and political stability. He said the aims to endorse the strategies and plans of the Government of Somalia in these areas and coordinate ways to support its strategies and resolve gaps in funding. Dr. Tedros expressed Ethiopia's support for the conference, noting that peace in Somalia means peace for Ethiopia.

He said it was important to exploit the current opportunities in Somalia as quickly as possible; adding that ensuring the ownership of the Somalia Government is vital and should be underlined by taking their priorities into consideration. The Minister said the international community should speed up its intervention without delay and support the Government of Somalia in building its own institutions and provide the capacity for the government to provide much needed goods and services for the public. The political process should also be speeded up, and Ethiopia, he said, was helping in this by providing the required environment in the areas it had liberated

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