HC Deb 02 March 1988 vol 128 c587W
26. Mr. Bellingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on current relations with Ethiopia.

Mrs. Chalker

My hon. Friend the Minister for Overseas Development visited Ethiopia from 7 to 10 January, when he announced the allocation of an additional 40,000 tonnes of food aid. With this allocation our contribution to the current famine relief effort, including our share of the European Community relief programme, now totals over £36 million.

My hon. Friend also used his visit to underline to Ethiopian Ministers the importance we attach to changes in their agricultural policies, and to our great concern about the continuing detention of political prisoners. We, together with our European partners, will continue to urge progress towards a peaceful solution of the internal conflicts in Ethiopia, which are causing great hardship and impeding the international relief effort.