Ethiopian foreign minister rips into Netanyahu and ‘more fake art’

The foreign minister of Ethiopia, Workneh Gebeyehu, warned in a speech at the weekend that his nation was facing “a clear threat to its existence,” that “the direction it is going in is towards destruction” and was on a “path to destruction.”

The warning, which Workneh delivered in English, comes as recent polls saw the official party of the Ethiopian regime lose the most seats in the parliament since 1991, bringing in a new leader for the first time since the country’s unification from its various partitions in the colonial era. Earlier this month, the country’s new leader, Abiy Ahmed, marked his maiden diplomatic trip abroad in which he met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, but failed to win their support.

Workneh’s blistering and at times personal attack on his opposite number, Workneh told an audience in London that Abiy’s government had only intended to go along with the West’s plans, but he felt “kidnapped” by “Washington’s deception and the fiddling of the capital” with a speedy liberalization of trade.

“The goal was to go to Washington with a new look and just transfer them with the promise of faster reforms and economic development,” Workneh said. “What they promised to do came like a fake piece of fake art, because the five points they promised are already being done by the grand coalition.”

Workneh added that a few months ago the main opposition party, the Oromo Federalist Congress, had requested to be included in the recent parliamentary election that saw the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front party lose ground. “So they were invited to run, to form a party,” Workneh said. “And actually, they made quite a showing … Other parties made quite a mark, including the elect party, which actually dropped to third place from second position to about the same number of seats.”

Workneh then pointed to the country’s border with Sudan as the source of Ethiopia’s problems with its western neighbor.

“Sudan has not completed the and signed the borders and delimitation on the Ethiopian borders,” Workneh said. “They used to call it the ear of God because they see a lot of Ethiopiaism in all areas. They touch that, they breach, they do whatever they like in all corners of Ethiopia.”

Workneh closed by calling on Abiy to act against Sudan, saying the Ethiopian leader should use his newfound authority to “take this threat to Ethiopia by Sudan.”

Read the full story at The Washington Post.

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