The First Annual Regional Consultative Forum on “Red Sea Security Dynamics: the need for Regional Cooperation in a time of Entanglement”, kicked off today at Sheraton Addis Hotel, Addis Ababa.
It is learned that the forum is co-hosted by the Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA) and the FDRE Defense War College.
In his speech at the opening of the event, Mr. Mesafint Tefera, Deputy Executive Director of IFA, stated that the aim of this Forum is to raise awareness about the mounting Security threats in the region, to engage in the political consultative forum to share knowledge and to enhance the aim of think-tanks and create collaboration between them.
During the opening remarks, Lt. General Alemeshet Degfe, Advisor of the Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Force, mentioned that the Red Sea region that encompasses the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Gulf, and North Africa, is a diverse geopolitical environment.
Stating that the Red Sea zone is characterized by spreading radical extremism and terrorism, along with other challenges, he noted that it requires Regional Security Cooperation and alliances more than ever. “In order to overcome the challenges, we require a sense of urgency and continued commitment.”
During his keynote speech, Gebeyehu Ganga, Director General of the Asia and Pacific Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that other than geographic proximity and being neighborhood, states, and peoples of the Red Sea region share a cultural and religious affinity.
Mr. Gebeyehu said that the region’s strategic importance for global trade and regional security is attracting the attention of different states and actors with diverse interests. Especially, since 2001, different countries are coming to the Red Sea region to achieve their strategic, economic, and ideological objectives, he added.
The Director General also mentioned the strong ties and interconnectedness between the two geographic regions of the Red Sea, noting that any situation that occurs on either side of the region also have immediate spillover effects on the other side of the Red Sea region.
He stated that “in order to ensure the long-term peace and stability of the Red Sea Region, we must create an environment of inter-regional institutions that enables citizens of our two geographical regions and other legitimate sub-regional and international stakeholders to meaningfully participate in peace and security initiatives.”
The Consultative Forum will have Four Themes of Topics, (De) Securitization- sensitizing the Mounting Security Threats in the Region, Opportunities and Challenges-Regional Security Platforms, Gulf Africa interactions – Inter-Regional and Inter-Continental Partnership, and Commonalities- common ground and Shared Interests between the Gulf and the Horn of Africa, as per MFA Ethiopia.
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