Ethiopia Losing Confidence For Return of Axum Obelisk: FM

Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin has said that Ethiopia is "losing confidence" in the Italian government that it would return the Axum Obelisk looted in1937, according to the Ethiopian Herald newspaper on Thursday.

About 55 years have passed since the Italian government pledgedto return the obelisk, and during these years the Italian government signed three agreements with Ethiopia on the return of the stele, said Seyoum late Wednesday on his return from the WorldFood Summit in Rome, the capital of Italy.

The Ethiopian government has reportedly established a joint team of experts that facilitate the dismantling and transportationof the obelisk, and also has concluded a study on the return of the valuable heritage.

However, the Italian government failed to give back the obeliskto its rightful by producing various excuses, added Seyoum.

Earlier, an Italian official is reported to have said it was better to keep it where it was rather than send it back to a "war zone."

Last week, the obelisk was damaged during a heavy storm in Rome,and the Ethiopian government has blamed the Italian government forthe damage done to the obelisk, urging the Italian side to hold full responsibility for the damage of the obelisk.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has urged the Italian government to stick to the agreement, wishing the Italian people and parliament as well as friends of the two countries to do everything in their capacity for the return of the looted obelisk.



People's Daily Online --- http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/