Vote by General Assembly shows int’l community’s confidence on Ethiopia: Algerian Ambassador

On the 3rd of July 2016, ENA conducted an exclusive interview with His Excellency Rachid Benlounes, Algerian Ambassador to Ethiopia on issues of bilateral relations and Ethiopia’s election as a non-permanent member to the UNSC.

ENA: How do you assess Ethiopia’s relationship with Algeria?

Ambassador Rachid Benlounes: As Ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti, Permanent Representative to the African Union and the United Nations Commission for Africa I would like to thank ENA for giving me this opportunity to address the public in Ethiopia as they are our brothers and sisters. The late Prime Minister of Ethiopia Melese Zenawi and President Abdelaziz Bouteflika agreed on the principle that “one has to qualify for quality”. They did not use the words like important or necessary but expressed the unique relationship between our two countries. The relationship between our two countries is not limited only to a decade or two. We are bind by common position on African issues. During the Algerian Revolution against colonialism, Ethiopia was in the forefront in supporting our country. Even if we have excellent political relationship we need to boost our economic relationship by involving the business men of our two countries. As Prime Minister Hailemariam has said “the time has come for our two countries to reverse the situation by involving the business sectors of our two countries for better economic cooperation”. In the beginning of December, we are going to host Algerian- African Business Forum for three days and we expect that Ethiopia will be one of the engines of the forum.

ENA: What in your opinion has qualified Ethiopia to be elected as a non permanent member of the UNSC in the recent UN General Assembly?

Ambassador Rachid Benlounes: I would like to congratulate the peoples and government of Ethiopia for the brilliant election to the UNSC as a non-permanent member. Ethiopia was almost unanimously elected by 185 members of the UN General Assembly. This clearly shows the confidence of the international community of nations on the role Ethiopia has played and will continue to play in the UNSC. Ethiopia has time and again paid sacrifices for peace and security in Africa and the rest of the world by deploying 18,000 peacekeeping troops around the world and of which 8,000 were deployed in Africa. Ethiopian troops have died and are dying for Africa. It is therefore not surprising to see Ethiopia elected to the non permanent sear of the UNSC. Addis Ababa was also chosen to be the seat of African Union. Ethiopians are peaceful people by nature. That is why our Prophet Mohammed orders his followers to go to Ethiopia.

ENA: Having been elected to the UNSC as a non-permanent member, what can AU expect from Ethiopia?

Ambassador Rachid Benlounes: Ethiopia’s election to the UNSC has been endorsed by the AU and the country will represent AU in the UNSC and will also serve as a voice for Africa in all aspects of activities in the UNSC. At this point in time, I would like to wish all Muslims in Ethiopia Ramadan Kerim as they just celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

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