New agreement in Djibouti won’t affect Ethiopia, MoFA says
During his regular press conference Meles Alem, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoF) said Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov will come to Addis on March 8 for an official visit. Meles said the talk will be about enhancing bilateral ties.
“A council, set up by Russia and Ethiopia will carry out its 6th regular meeting and we will talk about how to achieve better economic, cultural and political results,” he said.
Both countries established diplomatic relations on April 21, 1943. Russia currently has an embassy in Addis Ababa, and Ethiopia has an embassy in Moscow and the Ethiopian ambassador to Russia is also accredited 11 other countries in that region. Russia assisted Ethiopia in the Battle of Adwa in 1895.
US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson will also visit Ethiopia from March 7-9 to talk about the relationship between the two countries and peacekeeping in the Horn of Africa. He will also visit Djibouti, Kenya, Chad and Nigeria. Last week Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Workeneh Gebeyehu was in the US for a similar visit.
Meles also added that United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan will also visit Ethiopia this week on Tuesday and Wednesday and they will discuss making their political and social bonds stronger as well.
Meles also addressed the issue of Doraleh Container Terminal’s (DCT) recent termination of the DP World contract to manage DCT. He said this will not cause any major issue for Ethiopia, which relies on that port for most of its imports.
“The termination will not affect us because only four or five mangers changed hands so the system will remain the same and if there ever is a problem with this port we can use another one in Djibouti to handle importing our products.”
Journalists asked Meles if the current political instability would affect economic ties with other countries. He responded by saying:
“We can’t deny that every peace blocking action disturbs investment but if you look at our six month performance more than 72 companies who are engaged in agriculture, agro- processing, manufacturing, car production, mining and steel, construction, health, pharmaceuticals and tourism came to Ethiopia to do some business, and this shows we are working well.’’
He added that 158 companies from Asia, Oceania, Europe, the Middle East, the US and other African nations have gotten investment licenses here, and 26 local investors entered into share businesses with foreign investors and seven of them have begun working. According to Meles 45 business forums have taken place over the last six months.