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EU ready to reinvigorate strategic partnership with Ethiopia: Envoy

Addis Ababa, May 8, 2023 (FBC) – The European Union is ready to launch new chapter of strategic partnership with Ethiopia, said Ambassador Roland Kobia, the Head of EU Delegation to Ethiopia.

In a press briefing regarding the EU-Ethiopia new phase of partnership and the 72nd anniversary of EU Day, Ambassador Kobia recalled that the ties between Ethiopia and European countries dates back to the medieval age, mentioning the history of Portugal’s first diplomatic relations with Ethiopia.

Reminding that the European Union’s partnership with Ethiopia was stalled since the conflict in the northern part of the country broke out, it is now is ready to move the historic and strategic partnership with Ethiopia to a new phase.

Commending the strides taken to consolidate peace in the country, the Envoy stated that EU will support the recovery, reconstruction and development activities being carried out in Ethiopia to bring lasting peace.

He further recalled that the 27 Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the European Union gathered under the Chair of the EU High Representative (EU Foreign Affairs Council) unanimously approved new and ground-breaking conclusions to gradually normalize relations with Ethiopia. According to MR. Kobia, this decision opens a new chapter in the Ethiopia-EU partnership. It stresses that Ethiopia is a key strategic partner for the EU in the Horn of Africa and Red Sea and that the EU stands ready to support further progress on the path towards lasting peace.

He also stated that the European Union is currently working with the Ethiopian government to bring the strategic partnership with Ethiopia to a new phase.

The Envoy commended the recently improved humanitarian access to the majority of the conflict-affected areas in northern Ethiopia, while acknowledging that the widespread humanitarian needs, including in other parts of the country affected by severe drought and other crises, require an adequate and well-coordinated response.

The ambassador also pointed out that the European Union supports the efforts initiated to bring lasting peace to Ethiopia and create macroeconomic stability.

In this regard, the European Union is ready to relaunch its regular multi-annual development indicative programme (EU MIP) to accompany further progress on the consolidation of peaceful conflict resolution, reconciliation, stabilization and recovery and macroeconomic stability across Ethiopia.

However, Mr. Kobia acknowledged that Ethiopia is too big to prosper only on the basis of humanitarian aid. Rather, it deserves to define its development through hard work and get back on its feet again.

While highlighting the importance of the Ethiopia-EU relations on multiple areas, the EU Head of Delegation revealed that European market is the leading destination for Ethiopian products in the world, adding that it accounts for 20 percent of the country’s exports. More than 7200 Ethiopian products enter the European market duty-free, he said.

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