In an exclusive interview with ENA, the spokesperson said “our relationship with the neighboring countries is critical and it is a top priority.”
Stressing that neighboring countries are closer and more important, he pointed out that “whatever cooperation we forge with them in various aspects would be crucial.”
Relationships in areas of trade exchange, peacekeeping cooperation, and political cooperation with neighboring countries are vital, Dina underscored, adding that this basically creates a conducive atmosphere for regional integration.
Relationship with neighboring countries is given priority because it matters for internal progress and prosperity.
“Internal peace could be strengthened if there is peace in the neighboring countries. Economic progress inside the country could be supported by the economic development of the neighboring countries because it will create trade relationships and cooperation in various sectors,” the spokesperson elaborated.
He further underlined that Ethiopia, in its foreign relations, gives priority to the neighboring countries. “It is always top on the agenda and an objective to work towards in the form of IGAD and we work towards it at a multilateral level as well.”
Stating various mechanisms to deal with this relationship, Dina said “We do have inter-ministerial cooperation with many of the neighboring countries.”
Ethiopia has inter-ministerial cooperation with the neighboring countries, conducts regular sessions, and discusses both challenges and opportunities related to their relationship, it was learned.
Economic diplomacy is the cornerstone of Ethiopia’s foreign policy. A central component of the strategy has been regional integration with neighbors in the Horn and Eastern Africa.
Ethiopia shares borders with the neighboring countries Eritrea at the north, Djibouti, and Somalia to the east, Sudan and South Sudan to the west, and Kenya to the south.