Saturday, July 13, 2024
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125th bilateral relations

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The French Embassy kicked off an event that will be celebrated the entire year in celebration of the 125th Ethio-France’s long-standing diplomatic relationship.
For more than a century the two countries have shared bilateral ties that were formally cemented 125 years ago when Leonce Lagard, then French governor of Somaliland and later Duke of Entoto, signed a treaty with Emperor Menelik II recognising diplomatic relations between the two countries.
In commemoration of this relationship, on March 10th the French Embassy in Ethiopia officially kicked off celebrations at a press briefing held by the French Ambassador to Ethiopia, Rémi Maréchaux, and other French government, development organisations, and military officials.
At the ceremony, the Ambassador noted that France’s relationship with Ethiopia is unique in the African continent, as it is the longest and untarnished. He affirmed his administration’s commitment to ensuring that this relationship continues and blooms even further. As such, the celebrations are being held under the general ideation of relevance over dominance; given the recent tensions that Ethiopia has had with the international community regarding sovereignty, these are welcome words for those on the side of diplomacy.
The celebrations are going to be held for a year, with every month focusing on different aspects of the historic relations between the two countries. Everything from Airbus supplying Ethiopian Airlines’ first plane, to instances of French words and linguistic elements becoming adopted in the Ethiopian social lexicon, to the relationship between Former President Charles De Gaulle and the late Emperor Haile Selassie, and much more, the year is going to be dominated by seminars, showcases, discussions, and more.
Aside from the sentimental value of these celebrations, however, the French government hope to further strengthen ties between the two countries both at present and in the future. As such, there will also be a focus on highlighting the work being done in various socio-economic sectors such as the preservation and restoration of the Lalibela Rock-Hewn Churches and the National Palace. Recognising that education plays an important role in the development of a country, the Alliance Ethio-Francaise, the cultural institute for French diplomacy, and the Lycee Gebremariam school will be taking various initiatives focused on creating tapping into the vast skill and potential of Ethiopian youth.

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