Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom met Mr. Bert Koenders, Foreign Minister of the Netherlands, on the margins of the 24th Assembly of the Heads of State and Government at the headquarters of the African Union today (January 31). The two sides exchanged views on bilateral and regional matters. Dr. Tedros underlined the need to encourage trade and investment and build on the growing Netherlands’ investments in Ethiopia especially in the area of floriculture and horticulture. Mr. Koenders said Ethiopia’s fast and equitable economic growth provided important lessons in balancing growth and equitable development. He said the Netherlands appreciated Ethiopia’s significant contributions to UN and AU peacekeeping missions and noted his country’s desire to work with Ethiopia and Africa in peacekeeping. They also discussed AMISOM’s contribution to Somalia and the Netherlands contribution in helping resolve the Mali crisis. Dr. Tedros highlighted Ethiopia’s firm commitment to support peace and security in the region, with the example of the role being played by Ethiopia forces in Abyei, in South Sudan and in Somalia. He noted that Ethiopia is hosting more than 600,000 refugees from neighboring countries making it one of the leading refugee-hosting countries in the world. Mr. Koenders hailed Ethiopia’s open door policy in hosting refugees and expressed the desire to work closely with Ethiopia. Dr. Tedros welcomed the growing bilateral relations between the two countries and thanked Netherland for its support to Ethiopia’s development efforts. He appreciated Netherlands interest in working with Ethiopia in issues of migration and refugees.
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