Addis Ababa, 7 November 2013 (WIC) – Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Tedros attended a dinner hosted by the Federal Government of Somalia at Villa Somalia on November,5 2013. The dinner was attended by President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud, Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon, the Speaker of the Parliament Osman Jawari the Leader of Juba Interim Administration Ahmed Mohammed “Madobe” and over hundred of the participants of the Reconciliation and Peace Building Conference.
Dr. Tedros noted that the success of the negotiations and of the implementation of the Addis Ababa Agreements heralded a new chapter in Ethiopia and Somalia’s history.
He said “We had a dark history which happened for the wrong reasons, “adding that this was now behind us and it was time to start anew. He said that as Ethiopia and Somalia’s destinies were intertwined, the only option was “to live in harmony and prosper together.” A prosperous peaceful Ethiopia, he said, was good for Somalia and a prosperous peaceful Somalia was good for Ethiopia.
Dr. Tedros called for the two people and governments to work closely to build a better future, emphasizing that as close neighbors their similarities defined them rather than their differences. He noted that the reconciliation Conference was going well and said it would be concluded successfully, urging all parties to continue with in the spirit of putting the interest of Somalia above and beyond any personal and group interests.
He reaffirmed Ethiopia’s commitment to help in the implementation of the Addis Ababa Agreement and the peace process in Somalia in general in every possible way. President Mahmoud hailed Dr. Tedros‘s visit as historic, pointing out it was the first time in 23 years that a foreign minister of Ethiopia had spent a night in Mogadishu.
The President recalled that despite their long history it was only during the past two decades that genuine cooperation and friendship had blossomed between Somalia and Ethiopia. Speaker Jawari noted that the past mistakes of previous governments had left scars but he added that these were problems for governments and not for the peoples of Somalia and Ethiopia. With the changes of government and the implementation of right policies, relations were returning to normalcy and beyond. (MoFA)