IN THE KREMLIN, MOSCOW, 1967
Accept, Excellency, my deep appreciation for the kind words addressed to me and my people. It is with great pleasure that I find myself once again in your great and friendly country. The welcome which was accorded to me and through me to the Ethiopian people in my previous visit has been a rich and rewarding experience which I always recall with pleasure. In my present visit you have extended me an even greater and more friendly welcome, which I shall always deeply cherish.
The close friendship that so happily exists between our two peoples has been of long-standing. It has not only with-stood the test of time, but has even expanded and grown firmer through these years. This I am convinced will continue to be strengthened and shall, as in the past, give lasting benefit to our two peoples.
The national strength of a country is measured by the human and material resources it has at its disposal. Being aware that the exploitation of my country’s natural resources requires ample technical know-how, I, throughout my reign, gave priority to the advancement of education in Ethiopia. It is with satisfaction that I note here that my endeavours in this field are bearing fruit and that my country is well on its way to becoming self-sufficient in this regard.
It is my expressed wish that the widest fruitful economic co-operation be established between our two countries. The assistance extended to Ethiopia by the USSR to raise the living standard of her people, namely, through the establishment of an oil refinery in Assab, the Technical College in Bahr-Dar and the USSR’s hospital in Addis Ababa are worthy examples of such co-operation.
The main foundation of Ethiopia’s foreign policy is to live in peace and harmony with all states and particularly with her neighbours, and in the light of this spirit and the principles of Bandung such as: non-interference in the inter-nal affairs of other states and respect for the territorial integrity of all states; to cooperate with all in various fields of human endeavour with a view to promoting the general good and welfare of mankind. Ethiopia is equally dedicated to the cause of freedom and unity in Africa and to the cause of peace and understanding in the world, in close collaboration with the sister African states, and my people shall continue to contribute their share to the struggle of emancipating our brethren, who are still under the yoke of colonial rule. We believe that whatever measure we take in order to realize our goals in attaining a completely free Africa, it can best be done through the Organization of African Unity. It is, therefore, in the best interest and for the healthy progress and development of our continent to strengthen this organization. The peoples of Africa are determined that not one inch of African soil shall remain in the hands of the colonialists and in this noble struggle we shall not fail to look for support and encouragement from our proven friends among whom the USSR is prominent.
The principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of states and respect for sovereignty and the territorial integrity of independent nations which are embodied in the Charter of the OAU and the U.N. should be implemented in full measure by member states so that the necessary climate will be created for full co-operation. If this precondition is assured, it is our firm belief, that the great goals we have set for our continent to carry, will not be out of reach.
The League of Nations, by failing to restrain the fascist aggressor, allowed the forces of evil a free reign and it was only after the sacrifice of the lives of millions of innocent people, amongst whom the people of the USSR had to bear heavy losses, and the extensive destruction to property the world over, that this evil was finally destroyed.
Injustice In Africa
Once again injustice is being committed and practised in Africa. In the case of Rhodesia the U.N. has approved sanctions, the same weapon which proved ineffective over a decade ago. I believe that this measure too is bound to fail unless it is accompanied by the use of force.
I would like to add that after much sacrifice the world has created the United Nations Organization; but the U.N. can only be effective, provided its members are willing to make it strong by giving their wholehearted support in each and every case where justice, decency and fairmindedness so demand. It is of the utmost importance that the U.N. should have at all times the confidence and support of all its members.
I would like to refer to the efforts made by my country concerning the tragic situation which still exists in Vietnam. It will be recalled that I have, on several occasions, expressed my deep concern that this grave situation has continued for so many years and that no workable solution has as yet been found. I have already expressed my readiness to avail my good offices and to do my utmost to bring the concerned parties to the negotiating table. It is with great concern that I view the present conflict in South-East Asia and deeply regret that the numerous efforts made by several states have been ignored by those actively engaged in this bitter struggle.
We are convinced that in order to save our planet from total destruction every effort and all the necessary sacrifices must be made by all peace-loving nations both big and small, towards the attainment of total and complete disarmament, and to see to it that the manifold gifts of the atom are used, instead, for the eradication of disease and poverty and the betterment of mankind.
It is my ardent belief that all nations must live in peace and friendship with each other, religion or socio-political structure notwithstanding. This right and proper attitude must, in our opinion, be cultivated and developed by all nations. I believe that all nations have to advance along the path which they think is most reasonable and desirable in accordance with their culture, tradition and sense of values. In conclusion, I want to express my deepest gratitude to the President, government and peoples of the USSR at whose invitation I am visiting this great country. I am fully confident that this present visit will further strengthen the traditional and friendly relations which exist between our two peoples. I request all gathered here to raise their glasses to this spirit of friendship, and to the health of the Soviet leaders and the continued prosperity of the peoples of the USSR as well as for the maintenance and the promotion of peace and understanding in the world.
Feb. 27, 1967.
Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 159 –