Addis Ababa: Ethiopia’s President Ato Girma Woldegiorgis on Thursday received at the presidential palace Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, who is visiting the country as he winds up an African tour.
Shaikh Abdullah conveyed to Woldegiorgis the greetings of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his keenness to strengthen ties between the UAE and Ethiopia, and African countries in general.
In response, Woldegiorgis sent his regards to Shaikh Khalifa, wishing him good health and expressing his hope that the people of the UAE would continue to enjoy welfare and prosperity.
Woldegiorgis welcomed Shaikh Abdullah and his accompanying delegation, stressing the importance of the visit in opening up new horizons for bilateral cooperation.
During the meeting, Shaikh Abdullah and Woldegiorgis reviewed bilateral cooperation and ways of strengthening UAE-Ethiopian relations in the political, economic, trade, investment and tourism domains. They also exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues of mutual interest, especially the situation in the Horn of Africa.
Shaikh Abdullah also held separate meetings with Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Berhane Gebre-Christos, Minister of Transport Diriba Kuma Hey, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Abdul Fateh Abdullah Hassan, and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Ato Sufian Ahmad.
During the meetings, the two sides discussed bilateral relations and ways to develop economic, trade, investment, transport, aviation and labour ties.
Shaikh Abdullah and Ethiopian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Berhane Gebre-Christos signed two Memorandums of Understanding, aimed at establishing a joint commission between the two countries and enabling Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry to open a representative office in Ethiopia.
Shaikh Abdullah described the signing of the MOUs as “an important step towards furthering ties between the two countries.”
For his part, Christos said the joint commission, to be established under the signed MOU, would be tasked with strengthening cooperation in economic, political and social domains.
He added that opening of the DCCI representative office in Ethiopia would contribute to enhancing trade exchange and joint investments in the two countries.
Shaikh Abdullah stressed in an article titled ‘The UAE and Ethiopia: a world of opportunities’, which was published by three Ethiopian newspapers — Addis Zemen, Ethiopian Herald and Al Alam in Amharic, English and Arabic respectively — that the UAE is keen to strengthen ties with Ethiopia.
Shaikh Abdullah added that Ethiopia s abundant natural resources and young and talented population made it an attractive destination for investment by UAE businesses, noting that “With over 80 ethnic groups, you are a proud and tolerant nation, open to the world.”