Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia today suggested that his country needs to cut the number of its embassies and consulates by half to save cost and by focusing only on priority countries.
Addressing the members of parliament this morning, Prime Minister Abiy indicated that he suggested to the next administration of Ethiopia which is expected to take power in September to reduce the about 60 embassies and consulates of Ethiopia by about 50 percent. “With the current global changing geopolitics, our diplomatic outlook needs to be evaluated,” Abiy said.
“For instance, if I were in charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I wouldn’t need to have a consulate in Los Angeles or some places in Europe,” Abiy said, suggesting that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia can instead utilize some of the active individuals, who love Ethiopia and reside in those countries.
He noted that Ethiopian Ambassador in those countries may likely meet the Foreign Affairs Minister of that country once in a year. Hence, having a full-fledged embassy and consulates in some counties is a waste of money for a country like Ethiopia, which can utilize the budget of the embassies for other priority areas.
The operations of half of the Ethiopian Embassies and Consulates can be handled remotely saving the amount of money the country has been spending, according to Abiy. Stressing on the need to re-evaluate the current diplomatic relations of Ethiopia and development policies, Abiy said, “..Some people come to advise us after reading a certain article…We shouldn’t be trusting everything we read…We can’t trust the media, which lied to us on the issues we know. How could we trust them on the issues we don’t know.”