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Prescription Our Foreign Policy

Prescription Our Foreign Policy

Amen Teferi 10-06-17

Ethiopia is implementing a foreign policy that has in fact redeemed the war ravaged Horn of Africa region.  As we know, if anything goes wrong in the Horn of Africa region, Ethiopia would be the first to suffer the consequences. The policy it is pursuing now is devised after perusing the objective facts of the long history of the Horn.


The fundamental paradigm shift, one can easily point out from the current foreign policy of Ethiopia is its proclivity towards the internal political harmony as a means to ensure its peace and national security rather than fumbling about to deal with isolated deeds of its perceived or real enemies who might conspire against it.


In my view, this is an astute policy that would possibly fend off any external threats Ethiopia may face in the volatile region of the Horn of Africa. When we try to compose ourselves and see things critically based on tenets of our foreign policy, we would clearly understand that Ethiopia has relieved itself from the pestering effects of a siege mentality that had deposed the previous regimes to be paranoid based on a wrong assessment or belief that other hostile countries are conspiring against the country.


Freeing itself from imagined or real threats that incarcerate by fear of attack by external hostile forces, Ethiopia has adopted a new foreign policy that adopts an inward looking perspective and that tries to move with the time.


We can rest assured that Ethiopia would continue to successfully stride along the current path of development, if it manages to cope with our internal political discord and countries that are hovering around the Horn of Africa would not pose any real danger to our national security.    


Last year, when the Horn began to ramify with the advent of the member countries of the GCC into the region, some local and external observers were alarming that Ethiopia would face formidable challenges. They had suggested that if it does nothing, being oblivious of the endangering maneuver of the power politics of the Gulf States, it would possibly put its national security at risk.

If Ethiopia continues to remain idle as such in the face of the ongoing stern political and military ramifications without taking the necessary precautionary measures that counterbalance the mug’s game that involve these hostile Gulf Countries on one hand and Iran on the other, it will suffer the consequences.

But according to our foreign policy, there is no more important issue to Ethiopia’s domestic stability than the arrangement of its internal affairs. If it can reduce its internal anti-systemic threats that regularly conspire against our federal democratic establishment by ensuring and consolidating the democratic governance, no single terrorist group or conspiracy of “rogue state” would be strong enough to destabilize Ethiopia.

Therefore, in assessing the state of Ethiopia’s strategic stability one must focus on the internal political situation. Anti-systemic groups who may threaten the stability of our federal democratic system solely feed on the dissatisfaction of the public that arise from lack of good governance and anti-democratic proclivity of government officials. 

While I believe that it is sensible to think in terms of the new scenario -owing to the siege mentality that Eritrea has adopted and accordingly acted over the past two decades- I would strongly believe the ball is in our hand. Surly, the most important factor that determines the outcome of the standing destabilization project being sponsored by the rouge state in Asmara is its internal political stability. 

The utmost hate the regime in Asmara harbors on Ethiopia might once again lead the leadership to miscalculate and may launch an open aggression. Nonetheless, if Eritrea decides to launch an aggression for the second time, Ethiopia will respond, as the late PM Meles has once said, in a manner that would make sure that Eritrea won’t have a third chance.

If Eritrea decides on its own to go to war with Ethiopia or is emboldened to do so by the new allies, it will likely bring itself into the fray that would speed up its demise. If Ethiopia does all its “homework,” then it will meet any case and would fend off any threats posed against its national security. 


Following the establishment of the federal democratic system in Ethiopia in 1995, we had seen a major paradigm shift in the dynamics of the country's foreign policy and diplomacy. That was the time when Ethiopia, for the first time in its history, had a comprehensive and an all embracing democratic policy and strategy. The Foreign Affairs and National Policy and Strategy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia was an enlightening document that had clearly defined the foreign policy and diplomacy of the country.

The foreign policy of Ethiopia focuses on sustained economic development, prosperity, promotion of democracy and peace as the pillars of the nation's objectives of foreign policy and diplomacy.

Unlike the previous foreign policies devised by the previous regimes, the new foreign policy of Ethiopia tries to promote the national interest of the country by mainly promoting common agendas that would benefit both sides. In short, the country's foreign policy emanates and is based on the domestic policies of the country. Ethiopia has understood the consonance between its domestic and foreign policy objectives. Our foreign policy prescribed the need to mainly focus on the domestic affairs in order to excel in our diplomatic mission that primarily promote the influx of foreign investment capital that would solidify the fight against poverty.    

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