Request by the Ethiopian leader, Mengistu Haile Mariam, for immediate delivery of weapons to support the government in the Ethiopian civil war.
March 31, 1988
Telegram from Wolfgang Bayerlacher to Erich Honecker
This document was made possible with support from The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
[GDR Embassy in Ethiopia]
Addis Abeba Instant Message
gvs-t-b 7/111- 25/88 First copy 1 page
Comrade Erich Honecker
Comrade [Hans] Kopmann was received on 31 March in my presence by Comrade Mengistu during a break of the Central Committee meeting.
He submitted your cordial greeting of solidarity and emphasized that the GDR is, like in the past and so today, standing steadfastly on the side of the Ethiopian Revolution, and that it is supporting it with the means available to the GDR. Then he explained your decision for instant support of Ethiopia based on his talking points concept for the meeting.
Comrade Mengistu received the statements by Comrade Kopmann with great interest and visibly moved. He expressed the deep heartfelt thanks from the party, the government, and himself personally, for the so swift and comprehensive reaction to his letter addressed to you.
He emphasized that on purpose he had first turned to you, because it was clear to him in advance that the party and government leadership of the GDR under your lead will do everything possible in their power in order to support the Ethiopian Revolution in its current unexpectedly critical situation.
Your reaction to his request for support does confirm that his assumption had been again completely justified.
He expressed his conviction that with this aid it will be possible to repel the counter-revolution in order to strengthen the position of the revolution. He asked to assure you that everything will be done to consequently proceed with the development of the country as decided by the party, and also in the future after the overcoming of the current difficulties.
Concluding, he asked again to submit to you his sincere thanks and his most cordial greetings.
Finally, it was agreed that all necessary measures for the implementation of the initiated action have to be processed via the coordinators on both sides.
The meeting was held in a truly cordial atmosphere.
 Trsnslator’s note: Hans Kopmann, an official from “Bereich Kommerzielle Koordinierung” (“Sector Commercial Coordination”), a secret GDR state enterprise to generate foreign currency and purchases from Western countries. Between 1978 and 1989 Kopmann was also the GDR “Special Envoy for Implementation of Tasks assigned by the GDR Party and State Leadership to support the Ethiopian Revolution”.
The GDR Ambassador to Ethiopia reports that Comrade Hans Kopmann was recently received by Mengistu.
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