For the first time in Ethiopia's 3000-year history, a Prime Minister has addressed a joint session of Parliament.
GV EXTERIOR Parliament House
GV Prime Minister and other MPs entering
GV MPs seated
SV Prime Minister walks to dais and speaks (3 shots)
GV MPs listening to Prime Minister (3 shots)
GV MPs applaud and stand after PMs speech
Initials AE/18.39 AE/19.12
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Background: For the first time in Ethiopia's 3000-year history, a Prime Minister has addressed a joint session of Parliament. On Thursday (9 May), members of the Senate and Chamber of Commerce of Deputies gathered in Parliament House, Addis Ababa, to hear a major policy speech from Prime Minister Endalkaches Mekonnen.
The Prime Minister, speaking in Amharic, said close cooperation was needed from the people and the Parliament if the policies of his two-month-old Government ware to be implemented. Without such cooperation the situation in Ethiopia could get out of hand, endangering national unity and independence.
Prime Minister Makonnen said the Government's top priorities were to deal with the two most pressing problems -- the drought and the country's economic ills.
He said that in the past two months the country had been dragged to the brink of civil war. But now the situation was under control and large sections of the population supported his Government.
Prime Minister Makonnen appealed to Senators and Deputies alike to help restore calm and crate confidence in the Government - both necessary for Ethiopia's economic and social progress.
The Parliamentarians gave the Prime Minister a standing ovation at the conclusion of his address.