Ethiopia's Foreign Minister, Colonel Feleke Ghedle Ghiorgis, has defended his country's use of Soviet and Cuban aid in the fighting in the Horn of Africa war with Somalia.
GV EXTERIOR: Ethiopian Embassy, Rome.
SCU: Foreign Minister Colonel Feleke speaking.
FELEKE: "It is Ethiopia's inalienable and independent right to have relations with any one country, this is an unquestionable right of Ethiopia. These countries, definitely Soviet Union, Cuba, they are helping us forestall aggression, to reject aggression; they are against imperialism, against aggressors. They are helping the victim of aggression according to the United Nation's principles and charters, that all countries, according to the charter have the obligation, the moral obligation at least, to support that country which is a victim of aggression. All what we are trying to do is to reject aggression, and these countries are militarily helping us, that's clear. We don't have any designs on any one country. We want to live in peace and we want to be left alone.
We ask others to take their hands off Ethiopia so that Ethiopia remain independent and be given the opportunities to go on with the difficult task of nation building.
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Background: Ethiopia's Foreign Minister, Colonel Feleke Ghedle Ghiorgis, has defended his country's use of Soviet and Cuban aid in the fighting in the Horn of Africa war with Somalia. On a brief stopover in Rome, on his way back from the Tripoli OAU Foreign Ministers' meeting, he declared angrily that Ethiopia had the right to ask any country for help in its struggle to preserve its territorial integrity.
SYNOPSIS: Colonel Feleke was speaking to newsmen at a press conference in the Ethiopian Embassy in Rome.