The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has requested the Government of Norway to reduce the number of its diplomatic staff in Addis Ababa to three people, the Ambassador and no more than two other members of the diplomatic staff. This decision has been made because the Government of Norway has been attempting to build up an image as a regional peace-maker at the expense of the stability and security in the Horn of Africa. Indeed, the Government of Norway has been working consistently to acquire leverage with forces of instability in the region. This, in turn, has seriously aggravated problems of stability and threatened to undermine the national security interests of countries of the region including that of Ethiopia.
We have been continuously raising these issues with the Norwegian Government at various levels to try and ensure that relations between our two countries are based on equality and mutual respect. We have tried to impress up on the Government of Norway that using "spoilers" in its image building exercises is unhelpful. We have repeatedly highlighted the destabilizing consequences of its actions in our sub-region. We have informed the Government of Norway on many occasions, that its efforts to acquire leverage with those elements is, in fact, undermining the national security interests of Ethiopia, and of other countries in our sub-region.
The Government of Norway attempted to justify its actions on several occasions, claiming it had not fully appreciated the complications that might arise from such engagement and behaviour. However, it became clear that no change in policy could be expected despite all our representations. Ethiopia, as a first step, felt it had no option but to request the Government of Norway to reduce the number of its diplomatic staff in Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia urges the Government of Norway to refrain from clandestine and underground activities contravening international laws governing inter-state relations. It calls upon the Government of Norway to behave as a credible and accountable state actor in the region.
The Government of Ethiopia is not interested in escalating this issue. This is why it has not previously publicized this action. Our interest has been and remains to engage the Government of Norway in a serious and transparent dialogue over issues of common concern including the consequences of its actions in the sub-region. We expect an equally responsible reply from the Government of Norway.
August 28th. 2007