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Meeting Meles Zenawi and the New Ethiopian Government For the First Time

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"As this was my first formal encounter with the top leadership of the new administration, I decided (a) to treat the meeting as a formal occasion involving the OAU General Secretariat and the new administration and then the presence of Ambassador Dede and Mr. Djinnit (b) to speak candidly so as to lay down parameters towards understanding and cooperation between the new authorities and the OAU." - Dr. Salim, June 11, 1991

President Meles Zenawi: "We were extremely concerned that the seat of Ethiopia in Abuja will not be vacant. With your cooperation and the cooperation of the Nigerian government, we have succeeded not to have the Ethiopian seat vacant. It would have been a shame for this country. We want to keep OAU here for as long as OAU functions. For some reasons, Ethiopia was independent before some brotherly African countries. We participated in the struggle for Africa's liberation. We did not want to reverse this by some mistakes. I can assure you that we will do everything so that OAU can function under the most comfortable conditions we can provide. It is incumbent to any Ethiopian government to go beyond the normal regulations because OAU is not a normal organization. It is OAU. We cannot limit ourselves to the normal convention when we deal with our own." 


SAS Notes June 11 1991

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