ISLAM, CHRISTIANITY AND ETHIOPIA’S FOREIGN POLICY
This paper conclude that the vision of Ethiopia as a Christian island, no matter how out-of-date it has become, has continued to shape domestic politics and foreign policy in Ethiopia. It is argued here that, notwithstanding the inertia, Ethiopia ought to discard these visionary stereotypes and adjust itself to the reality both internally and externally. It is in the interest of Ethiopia, and the region as a whole to discard the myth and forge stronger relations with all countries on both sides of the Red Sea. This can be done in two ways: First, it is important to practically assure the Ethiopian Muslims that the country belongs to them as much as it does to the Christians. Properly handled, religious diversity in Ethiopia is not necessarily divisive. This is simply because unlike in many other African countries, Islam and Christianity in Ethiopia do not reinforce or perfectly coincide with cultural and linguistic divisions. Second, the Ethiopian foreign policy makers ought to take such confidence building measures as working closely with the neighbouring Muslim and Arab countries on regional issues.