Dr. Workneh: “The relationship between Ethiopia and UK is strategic and exemplary”

16 Mar 2017

While meeting the visiting UK’s Secretary of State, Boris Johnson in his office today (March 16, 2017), Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh described the relationship between Ethiopia and the United Kingdom as strategic and exemplary.

The two sides discussed bilateral and regional as well as global issues of mutual concern and trust.

Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh expressed that Ethiopia and United Kingdom have strong and longstanding strategic bilateral-relations. He mentioned that the exemplary ties of the two countries is growing significantly year after year, since there is a significantly growing need for cooperation with the unfolding of emerging issues such as migration and terrorism.

Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh pointed out Ethiopia’s leading regional role concerning migration management. Ethiopia he said has been hosting hundreds of thousands refugees from Somalia, South Sudan and Eritrea.

Speaking about the performance of Ethiopia’s economy, Dr. Workneh noted that Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the World. He said to keep the growth of the economy at an accelerated pace, the government is working relentlessly towards creating conducive environment for foreign direct investment and expanding areas of investment in a far-flung frontiers.

He added, in a bid to realize the country’s transformation agenda and thus achieve new development heights, Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh underscored that the government has been embarking on the launch of massive industrialization projects as envisaged in the country’s Second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II).

On Somalia, Dr. Workneh asserted that cooperation is demanded to further support the momentum of establishing democratic governance in the country. The Minister also underlined that rebuilding Somalia’s military infrastructure has been instrumental on the way forward.

Dr. Workneh underscored Ethiopia’s continued supports to the peace and stability in Somalia, adding that his country is committed to support the efforts of building institutional capacities in the country. This he said emanated from the core belief that the state of peace and stability of one country in the region has spillover effects on its neighbors, while also emphasizing that peace and development are inextricable. Accordingly, Dr. Workneh mentioned Ethiopia’s long-held contributions in promoting peace and security in Somalia through AMISOM. In this regard, he also commended the role being played by IGAD and the African Union.

As terrorism is still a threat not only to Somalia, but also to the entire region, Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh called for enhanced cooperation against the scourge of terrorism and extremism.

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Boris Johnson praised the historic and outstanding bilateral relations between United Kingdom and Ethiopia. He said the two countries have enjoyed a great deal of economic cooperation. Taking note that giant UK companies like Diageo and Unilever are already operating in Ethiopia; the Foreign Secretary reassured Dr. Workneh that in his tenure one of his priorities would be encouraging more anchor UK companies to invest in Ethiopia and do business with.

On regional issues, Secretary of State, Boris Johnson reiterated on the need to enhance cooperation towards supporting peace and stability efforts as well as reestablishment of war-torn countries in the Horn of Africa region. In all these, Boris Johnson commended Ethiopia’s significant role in and described its contribution to AMISOM as outstanding. On South Sudan, he said partnership on the peace process should be pushed forward and access to humanitarian aid should be guaranteed for the destitute and famine stricken people in the country. He also pledged to work in concert with Ethiopia in the fight against terrorism.

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