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PM Abiy Ahmed: Access to the port is an existential matter for Ethiopia

Addis Ababa (SD) – -Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, delivered a speech at the Ethiopian Parliament in which he discussed Ethiopia’s desire for his landlocked country to have a port of its own.

Abiy Ahmed stated that neighboring ports, such as Djibouti receive investment from China, Berbera from the UAE, and Mogadishu from Turkey. Abiy Ahmed expressed that Ethiopia is prepared to develop its own capabilities for port access.

“For example: if Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia were one country – forget federalism or federation -if they were one country in whatever way, do you think Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea, will beg? It would mean another Russia, another China, another America; a very big country,” he said, adding that in order for the whole region to be at peace and ensure prosperity “the first thing that should be looked upon is the Red Sea. The issue of the Red Sea needs a thorough conversation”.

In order to make this work for Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed suggested that his country is ready to give the shares of GERD Dam, Ethiopian Airlines, and Ethiopian Communications company.

“If we can neither lease, nor invest…as you know, China has invested in Djibouti, the UAE has invested in Berbera, Türkiye is now investing in Mogadishu. If Turkiye comes, the UAE comes, what is wrong if we … invest to live together,” said the PM

Abiy Ahmed noted that it is impossible for a country of 120 million people, which will approach or exceed 150 million people in a few years, to remain without a sea.

Ethiopia has been a landlocked country since Eritrea gained statehood, Ethiopia is now using the ports of Djibouti and Berbera for its export and import needs.

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