Irish Prime minister calls for deeper links between Europe and Africa

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who is on a six days tour to Africa, met with Prime minister Abiy Ahmed and President Sahle-Work Zewde in Addis Ababa on 9 January. The president expressed Ethiopia’s interest in furthering relation with Ireland based on the principle of mutual benefit.

The Irish Primer said that Ireland supports political and economic reforms that Ethiopia is undertaking and is determined to their deepen trade and investment relations.

He also expressed his will to foster a stronger relationship with Africa. RTE, Irish news source, quoted him as saying:

“If we in Ireland and Europe do not get more involved in this region and invest in this region, we risk opening a space for other countries to enter, be it China or Saudi Arabia or Russia. We need to make sure we are here, and we are crowding in.”

Ireland is one of the west European countries active in development work in the country.

During his meeting with Abiy Ahmed, Prime minister Varadkar discussed Irish-Ethiopian links, which have been in place for 25 years.

Mr. Varadkar said that he had sought further support for Ireland’s bid for a place on the United Nations Security Council.

He also said that Mr. Ahmed had sought his view on Brexit, adding “Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was aware of it and regretted it was happening because Ethiopia and Africa want a strong Europe and a united Europe”.