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Ethiopian embassy in Nairobi not closing – envoy

NAIROBI (SD) – Ethiopia will not its embassy in Kenya, Ethiopian ambassador said dispelling earlier reports by the locals claiming the embassy would be closed to save costs.

In a briefing to Ethiopian lawmakers on Monday, PM Abiy said Ethiopia will shut down several embassies to manage costs and have most diplomats work as non-resident ambassadors to their countries of accreditation.

He did use Kenya as an example, suggesting diplomats accredited to Nairobi could make field visits to Kenya instead of being resident.

“Ethiopia shouldn’t have 60 or so embassies and consulates in the present moment. Instead of throwing US dollars everywhere … at least 30 of the embassies should be closed … the ambassadors should instead be here,” he said.

He added: “The Ethiopian ambassador in Kenya, for example, probably meets the Kenyan foreign minister once a year or once in two years.”

Meles Alem Tekea said the mission in Kenya will not be closed, in line with his country’s foreign policy on regional integration.

“The Prime Minister was being hypothetical. The truth is that the embassy will not be closed. It is a very clear policy that our neighbours are priority in our foreign policy,” he told the Nation on phone on Tuesday.

Later, the embassy sent a statement terming the report that the mission in Kenya was among those to be closed as “false and wild guess”.

“The Nairobi mission will not be closed. Ethiopia’s neighbouring countries such as Kenya remains a priority to the Ethiopian foreign policy.”

Ethiopia has since suffered economic losses to the tune of $2.3 billion since the war in Tigray started late last year.

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