Foreign relations of Ethiopia

Many historians trace modern Ethiopia's foreign policy to the reign of Emperor Tewodros II, whose primary concerns were the security of Ethiopia's traditional borders, obtaining technology from Europe (or modernization), and to a lesser degree Ethiopian rights to the monastery of Dar-es-Sultan in the city of Jerusalem.[1] Tewodros' diplomatic efforts, however, ended disastrously with the British expedition of 1868 which concluded with his death. Despite the efforts of his successor Emperor Yohannes IV to establish a relationship with the United Kingdom, Ethiopia was ignored by the world powers until the opening of the Suez Canal, and more important, the Mahdist War, drew outside attention to her once more.[2]

The same major interests that Tewodros had—the security of Ethiopia's traditional borders and modernization—were once again foremost, as demonstrated by the outcome of the First Italo–Ethiopian War, Ethiopia's admission to the League of Nations (28 September 1923), and the 1935 Second Italo-Abyssinian War. Following the decisive Ethiopian victory at Adwa, Menelik II rapidly negotiated a series of treaties fixing Ethiopia's boundaries—with French Somaliland in March 1897, British Somaliland a few months later in June 1897, with Italian Eritrea in 1900, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan in 1902, British East Africa in 1907, and Italian Somaliland in 1908—which simplified this problem on one level. Although Emperor Haile Selassie agreed to an agreement with the British government to help him restore order to Ethiopia, which benefited him in crushing the Woyane Rebellion, he worked to its eventual termination.

Following World War II, Ethiopia played an active role in regional and global politics. Ethiopia was a charter member of the United Nations and took part in UN operations in Korea in 1951 and the Congo in 1960. Former Emperor Haile Selassie I was also among the founders of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), and served as one of a series of rotating OAU chairmen. Although nominally a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, after the 1974 revolution, Ethiopia also moved into a close relationship with the Soviet Union and its allies and supported their international policies and positions until a change of government in 1991.

Today, Ethiopia is a major economic partner of Djibouti and Sudan, although border demarcation negotiations are still ongoing with the Omar Al-Bashir administration. Relations with Somalia have also gradually improved, particularly since the establishment of a new government in Mogadishu. Ethiopia's dealings with Eritrea are extremely tense due to an ongoing border dispute between the two countries.

The Ethiopian government's relations with the U.S. and the West in general have been centered on military and economic cooperation. In addition, Ethiopia maintains diplomatic links with China, Israel, Mexico and India, among other countries. Addis Ababa also serves as the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union, as well as numerous other continental and international organizations.