Zigzag Diplomacy: Ethiopian-Qatari Diplomatic Relations and their Implications

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By Aklog Birara, PhD

aklog_birara
Aklog Birara, PhD

Given its ideal geopolitical location, Ethiopia’s trade, economic, cultural and diplomatic ties to North Africa, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and South Asia and beyond predate Egyptian civilization. Ethiopia is the only country in Africa that has had very close links and interactions to all of the world’s major Abrahamic religions, namely, Christianity, Islam and Judaism. It is not only this that makes the country unique. Ethiopia is the country of the First Hijra in the history of Islam and the oldest Muslim settlement in Africa. This did not happen through invasion or forcible occupation. It occurred at the request of the Prophet Mohamed and at the willingness and welcoming of the Christian Ethiopian Emperor a t the time. What is remarkable is that the historic tie between the Arab and Islamic world on the one hand and Ethiopia on the other was cemented by a Christian, peaceful, relatively stable and unified Ethiopia that was gracious and kind enough to cheerfully give refugee to the family of the Prophet Mohamed and his followers. History tells us that, in 615 AD, when faced with persecutions, the Prophet “instructed his followers to flee Mecca and cross the Red Sea and find a safe haven in the neighboring Ethiopian Christian Kingdom.” Read more 


 

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