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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Security Council Briefing on Ethiopia

2021-11-08 19:39

Mr. President,

I wish to thank Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo and AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa President Obasanjo for their briefings. I welcome Ambassador Taye Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to our meeting today.

Lately, the situation in Ethiopia has deteriorated. Escalation and spread of the conflicts have resulted in rising civilian casualties and worsening humanitarian situation. The AU and leaders of regional countries have all expressed their concerns. As a good friend of the people of Ethiopia, China sincerely hopes that all relevant parties will put the interests of the country and its people first, keep calm, and exercise restraint to avoid further escalation of the situation. At the same time, we hope they will commit to resolving conflict and differences through political dialogue in order to create conditions for peace and reconciliation. The Security Council issued a press statement last Friday on the situation in Ethiopia, calling for a cessation of hostilities and the commencement of political dialogue. We hope all parties will respond positively.

The current situation in Ethiopia is the result of a combination of political, historical, ethnic and other factors, the solutions of which can only be found from within. Regional countries and regional organizations know the best about the historical background and the present challenge in Ethiopia and therefore can play a leading role in the political settlement of the Ethiopian issue. China always supports African solutions to African problems. We welcome the political good offices of High Representative Obasanjo. We call on all parties concerned and  regional countries to provide full support to the High Representative in his work. Likewise, we also welcome the offer of good offices that Secretary-General Guterres made to Ethiopia, and expect enhanced coordination between the UN and the AU so they can work in concert to play a constructive role in promoting nationwide peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia. The international community, in particular the Security Council, should give the time and space needed for the AU and others to carry out their good offices. Using trade restrictions or cutting off aid as a means to exert maximum pressure on Ethiopia will only interfere with the political settlement, but will not help the parties resolve their conflicts and rebuild mutual trust.

The current humanitarian needs in Ethiopia are enormous. The international community should help Ethiopia improve its humanitarian response capacity, and scale up the relief delivery, so that humanitarian assistance can, to the maximum extent possible, reach everywhere in need. When providing humanitarian support to Ethiopia, we should respect the country's sovereignty and leadership, follow the UN guiding principles for humanitarian actions, and avoid politicizing humanitarian issues. All parties concerned in Ethiopia should fulfill their obligations under the international humanitarian law, protect the safety and security of civilians, foreign nationals included, facilitate humanitarian relief operations, and prevent further deterioration of the humanitarian situation.

Ethiopia is a country with a long history and a splendid civilization. At every historical juncture, the people of Ethiopia have been able to come together to defend the country's sovereignty, unity and long-term development. We are confident that the people of Ethiopia have the capacity and wisdom to overcome the current challenges, maintain national unity, and move the country back to the right track of peace, stability, development and revitalization. China stands ready to work with the international community to continue to support the efforts of the people of Ethiopia

Thank you, Mr. President.

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