Addis Ababa: President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Dr Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, on Friday held talks on various aspects of bilateral relations, in addition to broader regional and international issues of mutual interest.
During the meeting held in Addis Ababa, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia welcomed the UAE President, emphasising that His Highness' visit further advances relations between the two countries.
Sheikh Mohamed expressed his delight at visiting Ethiopia and meeting with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. He thanked him for delivering his condolences in person on the passing of Sheikh Saeed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, which reflected the special and strong relationship between the two countries.
The UAE President congratulated Abiy Ahmed on the occasion of his birthday, which falls on 15th August, wishing him a long life, good health, and happiness. He also extended his greetings to Sahle-Work Zewde, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and conveyed his wishes for her health and wellbeing.
Sheikh Mohamed and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia discussed enhancing various areas of cooperation, including economic, investment, and development ties, across all sectors to serve joint aspirations to support the development and prosperity of both nations.
The two sides discussed regional and international developments and exchanged views on issues of shared concern, emphasising the importance of building bridges of cooperation and effective partnerships that contribute to improving the quality of life and promoting prosperity for their people.
Sheikh Mohamed underscored the UAE's keenness to foster collaboration with Ethiopia based on mutual trust, respect, and a commitment to achieving common interests. This reflects the UAE’s efforts to enhance its relations with other nations through partnership and cooperation across all fields to pursue collective solutions to challenges facing the international community.
He underscored that relations between the UAE and Ethiopia are growing and have witnessed significant progress in recent years, particularly in areas that serve sustainability and development in both countries.
Sheikh Mohamed emphasised the UAE's keenness to further advance its relations with Ethiopia, including in sectors such as agriculture, food security, energy, trade, investment, technology, and others.
Important trading partner
His Highness noted that Ethiopia is an important trading partner of the UAE in Africa, as the non-oil trade volume between the two countries reached USD 1.4 billion in 2022, adding that both sides are working to increase this figure in the coming years. The UAE and Ethiopia are also working to enhance economic exchange, especially given the promising investment opportunities between the two countries, in addition to collaboration in the field of renewable energy, particularly solar energy, the UAE President added.
He emphasised that Ethiopia holds special significance for the UAE in line with its commitment to enhancing ties throughout Africa. This significance is further underscored by Ethiopia's hosting of the Organisation of African Unity's headquarters, which gives it substantial influence across the continent.
Promoting regional stability
Sheikh Mohamed stressed that the UAE is committed to working with partners in Africa to further strengthen peace throughout the continent as part of its enduring aim to foster global stability and prosperity. As such, the UAE fully backs all endeavours to achieve peaceful resolutions to crises within the continent and beyond.
He also welcomed the encouraging progress made through the recent agreement between the Arab Republic of Egypt and Ethiopia, which marks the commencement of negotiations aimed at reaching a comprehensive settlement on the Renaissance Dam issue.
He expressed his optimism that forthcoming discussions would lead to a satisfactory resolution for both sides and reinforce cooperation among the concerned nations while promoting regional stability.
Abiy invited for COP28
Sheikh Mohamed extended an invitation to the Ethiopian Prime Minister to participate in the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) to be hosted by the UAE later this year.
He commended Ethiopia's commitment to advancing renewable energy, underscoring that it shares the UAE’s objective of attaining climate neutrality by 2050 and stimulating unprecedented economic growth and social development through climate innovation.
The Ethiopian Prime Minister conveyed his appreciation for the deep-rooted relations between the two countries and their people, praising the UAE’s efforts to bolster security and stability while strengthening global cooperation, peace, and coexistence. In this regard, he wished the UAE further progress and prosperity.
At the meeting's conclusion, both parties reiterated their strong commitment to enhancing bilateral relations across economic, trade, investment, and developmental areas. They expressed their shared dedication to fostering mutually beneficial cooperation that bolsters sustainable development, security, and stability across the African continent.
The Prime Minister of Ethiopia hosted a lunch banquet to honour the President and the accompanying delegation.
The meeting and the banquet were attended by the accompanying delegation of the UAE President including Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court; Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Advisor for Special Affairs at the Presidential Court; Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs; Ali bin Hammad Al Shamsi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for National Security; Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology; Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State; Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; Mohamed Salem Al Rashdi, UAE Ambassador to Ethiopia; and other officials from the UAE side.
Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia; Muferihat Kamil, Minister of Labour and Skills Development of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia's Finance Minister; Abraham Belay, Minister of Defence; Aisha Mohammed, Minister of Irrigation and Lowland Areas Development; Melaku Alebel, Minister of Industry; Girma Amente, Minister of Agriculture of Ethiopia; Alemu Semie, Minister of Transport and Logistics of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; Alemtsehay Paulos, Cabinet Affairs Minister; Ambassador Misganu Arega, State Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and a number of Ethiopian top officials were also present.
President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, accompanied by Abiy Ahmed, planted a tree in the Prime Minister's office garden.
The agreements are aimed at fostering cooperation, developing partnerships, and diversifying engagement in various fields to advance development and prosperity in both nations.
The memoranda and agreements signed at the Office of the Prime Minister in Addis Ababa by both sides included the following:
- Agreement on mutual assistance in customs matters signed by Ali bin Hammad Al Shamsi, Head of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security, and from the Ethiopian side by Debele Kabeta, Commissioner of the Ethiopian Customs Commission.
- Memorandum of Understanding for Government Development and Modernisation Experience Exchange signed by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs; and Alemtsehay Paulos, Ethiopian Minister of Cabinet Affairs.
- Memorandum of Understanding between Abu Dhabi Ports and Ethiopia Investment Holdings signed by Mohamed Jumaa Alshamsi, CEO of AD Ports Group; and Meleket Sahlu Denbu, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Investment Holdings.
- Memorandum of Understanding between Oumlat Security Printing and Ethiopia National Bank signed by Faisal Abdulsamad Ahmed, Director of Operations at the UAE Central Bank; Mamo Mihretu, Governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia.
- Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Industry and Advanced Technologies signed by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology; and Melaku Alebel, Ethiopian Minister of Industry.
- Memorandum of Understanding between the Ethiopian Investment Commission and the Federation of Sharjah Chambers signed by Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Lelise Neme, Commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission.
- Memorandum of Understanding between the Ethiopian Investment Commission and the Federation of Abu Dhabi Chambers of Commerce and Industry signed by Dr. Ali bin Harmal Al Dhaheri, First Vice Chairman of the Chamber; and Lelise Neme, Commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission.
- Memorandum of Understanding between Etihad Credit Export Insurance and Ethiopian Insurance Corporation signed between Raja Al Mazrouei, CEO of Etihad Credit Insurance, and Meleket Sahlu Denbu, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Investment Holdings.
- Memorandum of Understanding between Etihad Export Credit Insurance and the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia signed between Raja Al Mazrouei, CEO of Etihad Credit Insurance, and Ato Abie Sano, President of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and Ethiopian Investment Holdings.
- Memorandum of Understanding on UAE Standard for Good Delivery of Gold signed by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade; and Mamo Mihretu, Governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia.
- Letter of Intent between the Ministry of Agriculture of Ethiopia and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), signed by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology; and Dr. Girma Amente, Ethiopian Minister of Agriculture.
- Memorandum of Understanding between Etihad Export Credit Insurance and the Development Bank of Ethiopia, signed by Raja Al Mazrouei, CEO of Etihad Credit Insurance; and Meleket Sahlu Denbu, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Investment Holdings.
- Memorandum of Understanding between Al Dahra Group LLC and the Ethiopian Investment Commission signed by Hamdan Al Darei, CEO of Al Dahra Holding LLC, and Lelise Neme, Commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission.
- Memorandum of Understanding between UAE's TALC Investment and the Ministry of Agriculture of Ethiopia, signed by Mohammed Aldhaheri, Chairman of TALC Investment, and Dr. Girma Amente, Ethiopian Minister of Agriculture.
- Memorandum of Understanding between DP World FZE and the Ethiopian Ministry of Transport and Logistics, signed by Mohammed Al Muallem, DP World Executive Vice President; and Dr. Alemu Sime, Ethiopian Minister of Transport and Logistics.
- Joint Statement between the UAE and Ethiopia on Climate Action.
- Roadmap between Masdar and the Ministry of Finance of Ethiopia, signed by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology; and Ahmed Shide, Ethiopian Minister of Finance.
- Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the field of combating terrorism, signed by Ali bin Hammad Al Shamsi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for National Security, and on the Ethiopian side by Temesgen Tiruneh, Director-General of the National Intelligence and Security Service.