|Reply to President Tubman's Toast|
Dec. 07, 1960
|We thank Your Excellency for the warm and cordial sentiments which you have expressed on Our |
behalf and on that of Our people. Ethiopia and Liberia are old and respected friends, and it is
fittting and proper that the leaders of these two nations should entertain for one another feelings
of warm and deep friendship and that their peoples, united by these ties of mutual respect and
admiration, should equally partake of these feelings.
We need not set forth in detail the long history of acquaintance between our two states which has
brought their relations to the high level which they today enjoy. Long before much of this great
continent of Africa was known to the outside would, Ethiopia and Liberia stood as twin symbols of
independence, one in West Africa, the second on the other side of the continent, and the flame of
freedom which these two states held high, flickering faintly at the outset, then growing in intensity,
has swept from East to West, from North to South, and today it illuminates every corner of this vast
land. History will attach high importance to the example of Liberia and Ethiopia, who
demonstrated that Africans can and must be free, in accounting for the tide which is today
sweeping colonialism and oppression from this continent.
In particular are We mindful of the sympathetic and fruitful co-operation which has marked
relations between Ethiopia and Liberia at the United Nations. Ethiopia's cause has been that of
Liberia; Liberia's cause that of Ethiopia, and We could ask for no greater blessing than that
relations between our two countries will be maintained on this same high plane. This We are
confident will be the case.
|This same spirit of collaboration on problems of mutual concern is continuing at an accelerated |
pace today in the policies which these two African states are pursuing to the end of eradicating
racial discrimination, that ignoble and most infamous of prejudices, from the face of the earth.
Ethiopia and Liberia are today pressing a legal action before the International Court of Justice at
the Hague, for the lifting of the mandate held by the Republic of South Africa over the territory of
South-West Africa. We re-affirm here now our determination to pursue this course to its successful
And, in the crisis in the Congo, in the efforts which We have made to find an amicable and just
solution to the vexing problems which exist in the newly independent country, We have counted
Ourself fortunate in the whole-hearted co-operation of Your Excellency and in the sagacity and
judgment which you have brought to this problem. The Congo represents, first and foremost, a
problem for Africans, and it is Africans who must, putting aside superficial differences, collaborate
in unity to restore order in the Congo, to ensure its territorial integrity, and to prevent the
insinuation into the Congo, in whatever guise, of the colonialist influences of which the Congolese
people have sought to rid themselves.
We look forward with calm confidence to yet further improvements in relations between us, and
We hope that one of the results of the visit which We are paying to this great nation will be the
taking of further measures to expand and broaden contacts between us. The initiation of direct air
travel between Ethiopia and Liberia will, We hope, do much to facilitate the interchange of ideas,
people and goods, and it is in this spirit that We desire that relations with Liberia grow and
For, it is this development that leads to the strength of economy and mutual assistance.
|Haile Selassie the First - December 7, 1960|