As part of the continuing sectoral dialogue under the EU-Ethiopia strategic engagement, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hirut Zemene conferred with a delegation led by Koen Vervaeke, the Managing Director for East Africa at the European External Action Service (EEAS) on 24 April.
The EU and Ethiopia decided to enhance the level of the partnership on 14 June 2016, when the then Prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn and European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker signed a Joint Declaration towards an EU-Ethiopia Strategic Engagement.
The European Union wants to work with Ethiopia on regional issues and today’s discussion is part of the Union’s strategic engagement developed with Ethiopia over the years, Mr Vervaeke said.
Following the dialogue, he said that Ethiopia is a critical partner of the European Union, which already has a strong relationship with the country in political, development, security, and trade issues.
He added that the European Union is looking forward to further strengthening the existing relationship to the regional level.
“We mainly discussed the existing cooperation we have in Somalia and South Sudan; but also the critical positions to be taken in the coming months in order to pursue our commitment there,” Vervaeke elaborated.
According to him, the partners have also developed new areas of dialogue in the region overlooking the Red Sea and Yemen and impacts of the situation in the Horn of Africa. “It is really important to listen to what Ethiopia’s view, and see how we can work together,” he added.
State Minister of Foreign Affairs Hirut Zemene said Ethiopia had developed a strong strategic relationship with the European Union over the years.
She indicated that the discussion was focused on how to cooperate with the European Union on regional issues.
Hirut added, “we mainly discussed on the regional peace and security across the Red Sea line and the situation in the Horn of Africa, and the EU supports focusing on the stability of the Horn.”