Addis Ababa June 11/2022/ENA/ Ethiopia and the Arab world should work to further strengthen existing relations for a mutual economic benefit, Addis Ababa University lecturer Mohammed Habib said.
According to the International Law and Relations lecturer, both have to correct negative perspective, unhelpful media narration and depoliticize issues and analyze their relations in a realistic and balanced way to build on the long-existing social connection, long-standing diplomatic relations and the huge people-to-people relationship for better economic ties of mutual benefit.
“The relation between Ethiopia and the Arab world needs to be analyzed in a more realistic and more balanced way,” the scholar noted.
Mohammed further stressed that Ethiopia and several of the Arab states have established longstanding diplomatic relations and people-to-people relationship, including direct social relationships and family connections due to historical and present migrations from both sides.
“Ethiopia’s diplomatic relations with many Arab countries is as old as all the countries. Over the past 50 years, Ethiopia kept on recognizing a new state whenever formed. And the Arab states have been very much forward-looking to establish diplomatic relation.”
This shows that both Ethiopia and the several Arab countries maintain respect towards each other, he stated.
“On the basis of people-to-people relationship, a large number of Ethiopians have been moving to the Arab world for various reasons, just like all other countries. Historically until the 1960s, there used to be a huge Arab community in Ethiopia.”
As a result, significant portion of Ethiopian families have got a direct relationship with Arabic-speaking families.
The people-to-people and social relationships with Arab countries are larger than in other countries because Ethiopia has no colonial experience and direct relationship with Anglophone or Francophone countries, the lecturer explained.
Mohammed said the existing overall relations need reinforcement initiatives to serve as a springboard to strengthen their economic ties for mutually beneficial ties.
He stressed that investment and economic relationship is very important at this moment. But economic ties need to be reinforced by something else.
The countries can take many initiatives for good cause and to further improve their relations, he pointed out, adding that for example, starting good relations in the sports sector or hosting Ethio-Arab countries conference and improving media content can contribute to strengthening economic relations, including trade and investment.