His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia, has made the following statement:
Ethiopians have witnessed the start of a new era in their relationship with Egypt, with the courageous efforts this month of the Egyptian Government to save 27 Ethiopian Christians who had been working in Libya and who had been at risk from the so-called “Islamic State” extremist group.
The efforts of Egyptian President Abdul Fatah Saeed Hussein Khalil al-Sisi to ensure the safe rescue and return of our Ethiopian brothers was something which the Ethiopian People will not forget. Neither will they forget the fact that President al-Sisi personally welcomed the rescued Ethiopians onto Egyptian soil when the mission was accomplished.
At the same time, we mourn the loss of some 30 of our Ethiopian Christian brethren, all workers in Libya, who had earlier been murdered by the perverted religious extremists of the so-called “Islamic State”, and for the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who had been brutally killed by IS before that. The Egyptian and Ethiopian churches have been closely related for more than 1,500 years.
It is clear that Ethiopia can now have a great and supportive ally in Egypt. The nature of the strategic position on the Red Sea and Nile has changed toward stability, cooperation, and prosperity with the election of Pres. al-Sisi in 2014. We are aware that there have been many issues, particularly with regard to the Nile waters and the Red Sea, which for some time divided the two great popu-lations of the region, Egypt and Ethiopia. However, we now see that Pres. al-Sisi has begun to view these things, which once divided our two nations, as things which, in fact, can unite us.
There will always be issues to resolve between two neighboring states, but, with goodwill, the chance to achieve greater things through friendship and co-operation must always be the preferred route. Pres. al-Sisi has demonstrated that he can work with Ethiopia on a range of issues, from the Red Sea and Nile to the security and stability of the region.
Ethiopia is poised once again to begin its economic rise as a state with rights and influence in the Red Sea, and we hold great hope that the governments of Ethiopia and Egypt can work together in increasing harmony.
In the meantime, we must express our gratitude and debt of honor which we owe to the Egyptian President and the Egyptian People for their humanitarian and brotherly act in saving our brothers who had been working in Libya.