Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn met with President of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh on Saturday 07 February 2015 in Djibouti. Prime Minister Hailemariam went to Djibouti to attend the first Ethiopia –Djibouti High Level joint commission meeting aimed at bolstering the bilateral relation of the two countries particularly by expediting the economic integration. Prime Minister Hailemariam was accompanied by Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Ato Sofian Ahmed, Minister of Transport, Ato Workineh Gebeyehu, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Ato Alemayehu Tegenu and State Minister of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Berhane Gebre-Christos and senior government officials. They held the discussions with President Omar Guelleh at the presidential palace.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn praised the warm welcome extended to him and his delegation. He said he is “delighted to come to Djibouti and especially on such occasion- to further lift and cement the all rounded, multidimensional, relationship between our two countries.” He further noted that the High Level Commission will offer another opportunity for deepening and expanding the scope of the cooperation on regional, continental and global issues. Speaking on the growing developmental efforts of the two countries, he said, Ethiopia and Djibouti are “surfing in the same boat.”
The Premier praised the Government of Djibouti for its role in the efforts made at solving regional challenges. He particularly hailed the Government of Djibouti for “the very important role it has been playing to bring peace and stability to Somalia and to the South Sudan within the IGAD framework.” He further explained that Ethiopia is ready to redouble its effort to help the south Sudanese political actors reach a negotiated peaceful settlement. He also expressed that the support to Somali brothers and sisters would continue in their effort to bring sustainable peace and stability.
Prime Minister Hailemariam praised the Joint Ministerial Commission for its accomplishments since its establishment and for its role in enhancing the political, military and economic relations between the two countries. He underlined the importance of strengthening people to people relations between the two countries. He also underlined the need to explore other potential areas of cooperation to expedite the process of full economic integration not only between the two countries but also in realizing the vision of IGAD in integrating the sub-region.
President Ismail Omar Guelleh for his part expressed that “this visit of Prime Minister Hailemariam to Djibouti marks a milestone in the relationship between the two countries.” He said “Djibouti and Ethiopia are strong, strategic partners” adding that the peoples of the two countries share the same values, culture and economic vision. President Omar Guelleh said “Our successes as economically, politically and socially rich nations are dependent on each other and we will use this visit to continue to identify ways to integrate and to grow our economies to create prosperity and security in East Africa.”