Ethiopia’s Nat’l Security, Economy Depends on Red Sea: Foreign Affairs Institute Executive Director

Addis Ababa: Institute of Foreign Affairs Executive Director Jafar Bedru has refuted the narratives and discourses among some actors in the region that Ethiopia is a non-littoral country to the Red Sea.

In his recent address to the 36th regular session of the House of People’s Representatives on last Thursday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed gave emphasis on the current crisis in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden which has disrupted world trade.

In this regard, Ethiopia’s interest is to work together with neighboring countries Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan, and Somalia for regional cooperation, peace and mutual development, the premier underlined.

He also said that this unfolding situation has still posed a threat for global trade, including Ethiopia.

Talking to ENA, Institute of Foreign Affairs Executive Director Jafar Bedru said that the Red Sea region is a very critical route not only for Ethiopia but also for the region around the Horn of Africa and the global trade as well as maritime security.

Noting th
at Ethiopia is very proximate to the Red Sea, the director stated that it is a very critical route for around 20 percent of the global trade, particularly oil and natural gas to Europe and North America.

‘Ethiopia depends on the Red Sea trading line for its import-export trade. And of course submarine cables provide Ethiopia’s internet linkage. Thus, Ethiopia’s national security and economy heavily depends on activities in the Red Sea area.’

He rejected the narratives and discourses among some that Ethiopia is a non-littoral country to the Red Sea.

The country has business in each security, political and economic affairs across the Red Sea area, the executive director underscored.

According to him, Ethiopia is seeking talks to change the narrative.

‘Ethiopia is part of the Red Sea and strategically depends on this important world trade route. Its import-export goods 100 percent depend on the Red Sea and passing through it.’

So, any discussion regarding security and economic development around the Red Se
a, including maritime security, should take into account the interests of Ethiopia, he noted.

He pointed out that Ethiopia is the biggest country in terms of demography and the largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Given the geopolitical proximity and its location, Jafar also underlined that Ethiopia is a littoral state because of its immense influence and the stakes it has in the Red Sea area.

Therefore, Ethiopia should be part of the discussions, multilateral forums and legal mechanisms to bring peace and security and stability in the area.

The Red Sea, in terms of linking Afro-Arab partnership is a vein of linkage, the executive director noted, adding that this water body should not therefore serve as a source of rift.

He also reiterated the commitment of Ethiopia for comprehensive cooperation and mutual development of all the actors.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

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