REPORT TO THE NATION
…. Seven weeks ago, We left Ethiopia to travel to Sudan, the United States of America, Canada, Guinea, Mali, Morocco, Algeria, France, Tunisia, Yugoslavia and the United Arab Republic. Past visits to friendly nations have persuaded Us of the value of the personal contacts between leaders which such occasions afford, and Our most recent travels have only reconfirmed Us in this belief. At every hand, We were met with that warmth and friendship which is the best testimony of the regard and respect in which Our nation is uniformly held by those whom we call friends. Each one of us shares in the success which attended the talks We held with the leaders of these nations, for We spoke always on behalf of the nation which We lead and the people who have been such an unfailing source of strength and support in the discharge of the arduous responsibilities which have fallen to Our lot.
In the United States of America, We found continued appreciation and sympathy for the efforts which Our Government and people are making to speed the development of Ethiopia, and We came away reassured by Our talks with President Kennedy that the United States would continue to extend generous support to these labours in the form of concrete projects contributing still further to Our nation’s economic and social health. In New York, We had occasion to address the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization, an occasion which recalled the most painful days of Our life but which also brought to mind the loyalty and steadfastness of the great Ethiopian people through whose efforts Ethiopia is today a free and independent state. We left the United Nations Headquarters reconfirmed in Our belief that this Organization, as We stated to the General Assembly, represents the best, and perhaps the last, hope for peace in the modern world.
On Our visits to sister African states, We met and talked with Our good friends, President Sekou Toure in Guinea, President Modibo Keita in Mali, King Hassan II in Morocco, President Ahmed Ben Bella in Algeria and President Habib Bourguiba in Tunisia. During these conversations, We were repeatedly struck by the oneness of purpose demonstrated whenever the issue of the future of Africa came under consideration. In every African nation We found a uniform determination to translate the decisions of Addis Ababa into milestones along the path to the creation of a single and united Africa, and a readiness to make whatever sacrifices this effort might require. This is indeed a good augury for the future and for the hopes of the African peoples that the goals which all Africans seek may be brought to full realization within the lifetime of the present generation.
In other nations We exchanged views with respected statesmen whose nations have long enjoyed friendly relations with Ethiopia – with El Ferik Ibrahim Abboud in Sudan, with Prime Minister Lester Pearson in Canada, with General de Gaulle in France, with Marshal Tito in Yugoslavia, with President Gamel Abdul Nasser in the United Arab Republic. The results of Our talks will be of benefit not only to Ethiopia, but to all men of goodwill.
Ethiopia has, throughout the past year, continued to adhere to the traditional policies to which We have on numerous occasions declared Our nation’s devoted respect for the rights of others, non-interference in the internal affairs of states, respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations, the peaceful settlement of disputes, support of the principle of collective security as the best protection against aggression and the best guardian of the peace. These policies we apply uniformly, whether to a neighbour state with which we share common frontiers or to a nation half-way round the world. To live in peace and friendship with all men today, it is only necessary that these principles find the universal observance which We have so long urged .....
..... Since this day last year, Ethiopia has taken special pleasure in welcoming to the ranks of independent states the nations of Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Zanzibar. Our relations with these new nations whose independence We long and ardently advocated and supported, are already characterized by that sympathy and that spirit of brotherhood which constitute a common bond among all Africans, whether already free or still struggling to attain this happy state. It is this same spirit which has carried Africa forward in triumph on the crest of the wave in pursuit of the ideal of African unity, and it remains unflagging today, as We prepare for yet more vigorous efforts in the battle to win through to this cherished objective.
Desirous of cementing the bonds of friendship and mutual comprehension which already unite Ethiopia with her near-neighbors, We travelled during the past year to Kenya, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, where We met and talked with the leaders of these states and came to know at first hand the noble peoples of these sister African nations. In each of these countries, We encountered the same devotion to high principle, the same determination to labour unceasingly for the cause of peace and the betterment of the way of life of all men, the same opposition to the evils of continued colonial domination of our still dependent fellow Africans and of South Africa’s inhuman policy of apartheid, which are today the hall-mark of wise and responsible statesmanship. Our visits have brought Ethiopia even closer to her East African neighbors, and we may take real satisfaction in the strong and enduring ties of friendship which link us together.
Only two months ago we undertook a considerable journey from which We only recently returned. In Iran, which We first visited, We were received by His Majesty the Shah, and in that nation We found a striking similarity in the problems which are facing both of our countries today. In Eastern Europe, We visited Poland, Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria. Everywhere We were warmly greeted, and the tributes which We received We consider as a mark of respect and friendship for the entire Ethiopian nation. In each of these states, We enjoyed frank and cordial exchanges of views on pressing world problems with their leaders, and everywhere We found an eager willingness to explore all possible means of increasing contacts with Ethiopia, particularly in the area of economic co-operation. In the near future, delegations from these friendly countries will travel to Ethiopia to discuss the implementation in detail of the agreements in principle reached for expanded collaboration in the economic and technical fields …..
Nov. 21, 1964.
Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie - page 97 -