The Ethiopian Foreign Minister H.E. Gedu Andargachew today (November, 20) met and held discussions with resident European Union Ambassadors led by H.E. Ambassador Johan Borgsatm.
The meeting was held in accordance with Article 8 dialogue of the Cotonou agreement that was signed to regulate cooperation between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in June 2000.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Gedu appreciated the EU for its unrelenting commitment with regard to development assistance.
“We in Ethiopia believe that our partnership with the EU is of great significance to the realization of various development goals Ethiopia is striving to achieve,” he added.
In explaining Ethiopia’s new course to its foreign policy, Mr. Gedu said that countries of the Horn are embarking on the new path of cooperation spearheaded by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and showing to the world that they are capable of solving their problems by themselves.
The Foreign Minister also briefed the EU Ambassadors on Ethiopia’s positive roles in promoting peace with its neighbours.
Mr. Gedu stressed that Ethiopia’s interests will be best served through the existence of peaceful and stable neighbouring countries.
Highlighting the Sidama People Referendum which is underway, Mr. Gedu reassured the Ambassadors that Ethiopia is preparing to conduct free and fair election in 2020.
“Making the upcoming election free, fair and credible will be the culmination of the democratic reform that the current Government has championed,” he added.
Concerning the Grand Renaissance Dam, Mr. Gedu stressed on the fact that the commencement of the construction of the dam was to support poverty alleviation and socio-economic development efforts which are matters of survival in the current state of the country.
In discussing the overall human rights environment in Ethiopia, Mr. Gedu highlighted positive developments that have been achieved since the implementation of the new reform agenda.
He also indicated that a lot remains to address challenges to the advancement of human rights including the weak capacity of institutions.
The Foreign Minister finally underlined his Government’s commitment to secure peace and stability in the country so that both foreign and domestic investments flourish.
The EU Ambassadors lauded the reform Ethiopia is undertaking and forwarded questions for further clarifications which were addressed in detail by the Foreign Minister.
The Cotonou agreement regulates the relationship between the two bodies in economic, political and development dimensions.