Deputy PM & FM Demeke Discusses With Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

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Addis Ababa, June 24/2021 (ENA) Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen discussed with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday.

On the occasion, the Deputy Prime Minister briefed the Russian side on the current situation in Ethiopia.

Demeke told Lavrov that efforts are underway to rehabilitate the Tigray region, provide unlimited humanitarian assistance, facilitate access to humanitarians, and investigate allegations of human rights abuses and bring perpetrators before justice.

Regarding the general elections, he said it was conducted in a peaceful manner and the results of the counting will be made public according to the program of National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE).

Speaking about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Demeke said Ethiopia would continue to adhere to the African Union (AU) led negotiating process,  according to Foreign Affairs Ministry.

The two sides also talked about the Ethiopia-Sudan border dispute where the Deputy Prime Minister said Sudan’s use of the situation in the Tigray region as an opportunity to encroach into Ethiopian territory was not only illegal but also an immoral act that failed to reflect the longstanding relationship between the two countries.

He reaffirmed that Ethiopia’s efforts to resolve the border dispute with Sudan peacefully would continue.

According to Demeke, the Ethiopian people and government appreciate Russia’s continued support and commitment to Ethiopia’s sovereignty adding that Ethiopia is confident that this support would continue.

The Deputy Prime Minister also announced that Ethiopia is ready to host the Africa-Russia Forum in Addis Ababa next year.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, on his part, said the steps taken by the federal government of Ethiopia in handling the situation in the Tigray regional state, including its commendable humanitarian assistance efforts are testaments to the moral and political competence of the government.

Lavrov noted that Russia’s participation in the sixth general elections as an observer was reflective of the long and historical relationship between the two countries adding that, his country is satisfied with the peaceful conclusion of the election.

He said Russia believes that the ongoing negotiations under the auspices of the African Union (AU) regarding the GERD should be strengthened and Russia is interested in providing the necessary technical support.

He also lauded Ethiopia’s approach to peacefully resolving the border dispute with Sudan and resolving problems through diplomacy.

Russia does not support any intervention in Ethiopia’s internal affairs, he said affirming that the areas of cooperation between the two countries will continue to be strengthened.

Sergei Lavrov also appreciated Ethiopia’s stance for being ready to host the Africa-Russia Forum in Addis Ababa next year.

The two sides vowed to strengthen the bilateral relations, especially in education, capacity building, science and technology.

They stressed the need to expedite the implementation of agreements that have been reached so far and called for the speedy signing of agreements in other areas that the two countries have agreed to expand engagements.

The discussion between the two sides was fruitful and ended with their affirmation of commitment to continue the historic relationship between Ethiopia and Russia in various fields, the Ministry stated.