The Egyptian civil airliner which was forced to land in Nairobi by Kenyan air force fighter planes was released on Friday (17 February) on condition that it flew its cargo of artillery shells to Cairo instead of Somalia.
SCU: Ethiopian Foreign Minister Colonel Fileke Gedle Giorgis speaking in English.
CU: Giorgis and other Ethiopian officials seated.
SCU: Giorgis speaking.
GIORGIS:"The Egyptian authorities have disregarded all international behaviour and having previously asked the Kenyan authorities for overfly and having been refused they forced their planes full of arms explosives and artillery shells which they want to shuttle to Somalia. Now when Kenya wanted to use its legitimate right of defending its sovereignty then they went into another method -- illegitimate method -- of hijacking Kenyan planes of committing an air piracy of which international behaviour really does not allow. We strongly prot est against this behaviour while we really applaud our Kenyan friends, brothers for carrying out such actions. In defending their territorial integrity they defend not only Kenya's integrity but the integrity of other -- African brothers. Ethiopia has made its position absolutely clear, in this regard."
GIORGIS:"We are trying to warn these countries that if they continue to supply arms to Somalia directly, indirectly or covertly then what ??? said is that the relationship between these countries and Ethiopia will be meaningless."
United States President Jimmy Carter's Deputy Assistant for National Security, Mr David Aaron, paid a brief visit to Addis Ababa on Friday and within hours met Ethiopian Head of State Lieutenant Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam. As this meeting was taking place in was revealed in Washington that the United States has warned that any crossing of Somalia's borders by Ethiopian troops would be viewed by the U.S. as a serious threat to world peace. Mr Carter also re-affirmed on Friday that the United States had refused to supply arms to both Somalia and Ethiopia during their current conflict in the Ogaden desert. "We have called upon Somalia to withdraw from Ethiopian territory out of the Ogaden area" he said.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Egyptian civil airliner which was forced to land in Nairobi by Kenyan air force fighter planes was released on Friday (17 February) on condition that it flew its cargo of artillery shells to Cairo instead of Somalia. Two planes seized by Egypt in retaliation were also released. On Saturday (18 February) Ethiopian Foreign Minister Colonel Fileke Gedle Giorgis passed through Nairobi on his way to an Organisation of African Unity meeting in Tripoli and commented on the Kenyan action and Egypt's role in the affair.
SYNOPSIS: Colonel Giorgis also spoke about Ethiopia's relations with the United States, Britain and West Germany.