Thursday, April 04, 2013

Ethiopia’s senior diplomats continue their discussions

(Apr 04, 2013,(mofa))--This week’s meeting of Ethiopia’s senior diplomats continued on Wednesday (April 4th) for a third day, on the themes of enhancing capacity and commitment to ensure the widest possible participation of Ethiopian Diaspora in development and the protection of their rights and on religious extremism and terrorism with particular emphasis on the Government’s efforts to ensure religious freedom and equality in restoring law and order.

The Minister, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, and the Ministry’s three state ministers chaired the meeting and detailed the Government’s efforts to enhance diaspora participation and religious freedom. Issues discussed include the provisions of the recently ratified Diaspora Policy and its effective implementation.

This underlines the importance of having proper information, and establishing effective and sustainable relationships with diaspora associations, their representatives and through other mechanisms. It underlined the importance of identifying diaspora needs, to provide support and protection of  their rights , the ability to address problems and provide people with quick and effective services at Ethiopian missions abroad as well as in Addis Ababa.

Also discussed were ways to strengthen the effectiveness of the diaspora sub-committee, established under the framework of the National Renaissance Council and chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Minister emphasized the need to involve the diaspora in technology transfer and technical assistance, assist promotion of business opportunities, incentives and guarantees and encourage the take up of diaspora bonds for investment projects; interest on diaspora bonds is to be paid every six months into diaspora foreign currency accounts.

He stressed the need to encourage diaspora participation in development and the democratization process, and to acknowledge and reward their contributions.  The meeting was briefed by relevant officials from the Commercial Bank and other institutions. The Minister of Federal Affairs briefed the meeting on the issue of religious extremism and terrorism, and the politically motivated distortions and campaigns orchestrated by extremist elements.

He underlined the need to explain to the diaspora and  the international community the constitutional principle of secularism and the government non-interference in  religious matters, and what it has done to ensure religious freedom and equality, and the rule of law and order.

Dr. Tedros also emphasized the importance of clarifying misunderstandings and, if necessary, facilitating visits so diaspora representatives and others could see things for themselves. The meeting also received a briefing on the new ministerial website and social media applications.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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