Britain’s Foreign Secretary visits Ethiopia


Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson paid a visit to Ethiopia and met with top government officials including his counterpart.

His official work visit to Addis Ababa was mainly focused on regional security and bilateral cooperation between the two nations.

During his meeting with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn the PM confirmed his intention to attend the London Conference on Somalia in May, and both governments are looking forward to this as an important occasion to consolidate a new comprehensive partnership with Somalia for 2018 and beyond.

In discussing the meeting with Workneh Gebeyehu (PhD),  Brittan’s chief diplomat said the two countries have enjoyed a great deal of economic cooperation. Noting that giant UK companies like Diageo and Unilever are already operating in Ethiopia; the Foreign Secretary reassured Workneh that in his tenure one of his priorities would be encouraging more anchor UK companies to invest in Ethiopia and do business.

The two Ministers held a friendly and productive meeting on wide-ranging issues covering bilateral and consular affairs, domestic issues in their countries, the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa, regional cooperation and the UN Security Council – highlighting the breadth and width of UK-Ethiopia relations. Both countries agreed to further strengthen their cooperation at the bilateral, regional and international level.

On March 17 Boris Johnson saw how Ethiopian Airlines, flies Airbus 350s designed in the UK with British manufactured wings.  British Rolls Royce engines propel much of the fleet across Africa and beyond and British parts and maintenance are keeping them in the air.

The Foreign Secretary said, “I have seen a great African success story with big plans for the future.  Ethiopian Airlines are just one example of what happens when you combine British engineering expertise with African vision.”

He visited Somalia on Wednesday for talks with President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohammed ‘Farmajo’. The two leaders discussed problems devastating the country including drought and insecurity.

Johnson during his stay here also ran alongside double Olympic champion Haile Gebrselasse.

Johnson said; “Known around the world as a record breaker, Haile is rightly known in Ethiopia for bringing that great British institution, the Great North Run, to Ethiopia.”

The Great Ethiopian Run is the biggest running race in Africa.  The UK’s Great North Run is the largest half marathon in the world.

The Foreign Secretary also met the ‘grandmother of humanity’ Lucy, the most complete skeleton of an early human ancestor ever discovered. Lucy is 3.2million years old. Following his visit to the National Museum the Foreign Secretary said; “as our common ancestor, Lucy reminds us that our similarities are greater than our differences”.