Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Japan, Ethiopia to Work on Black Sea Grain Deal Resumption


By our staff reporter
Japan’s foreign minister, following a one-on-one meeting Thursday with Ethiopia’s deputy prime minister, expressed hope their two nations would work together on the resumption of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, making his first visit to Ethiopia, said he shared concerns about the impact of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine on food security in Africa. following a one-on-one meeting with Ethiopia’s Demeke Mekonnen.
“Japan deplores the termination of the Black Sea Grain Initiative by Russia, and Japan hopes to work together with Ethiopia towards the resumption of the initiative,” Hayashi said.
Since the start of the Black Sea grain deal, which took effect in July 2022, the United Nations has overseen the export of more than 262 metric tons of wheat to Ethiopia.
Climate shocks that brought about severe droughts and conflict in Ethiopia have put over 20 million people in need of food assistance.
Hayashi also talked about the Japanese government’s support of the peace deal that ended the war in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
“I mentioned Japan’s support for implementation of the peace agreement signed between the Ethiopian government and the TPLF [Tigray People’s Liberation Front] and stated that Japan would give serious consideration to further cooperation toward the implementation of this agreement,” he said.
Demeke, who also serves as Ethiopia’s foreign minister, said the two had a productive discussion on issues of mutual interest.
“In our talks, we pledged to deepen our partnership in the political, economic and social sectors,” Demeke said. “In particular, we renewed our commitment to strengthen our investment, trade and development cooperation.”
The Japanese foreign minister’s stop in Ethiopia wrapped up a six-nation tour of Southwest Asia and Africa.

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