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Ethiopia and Qatar agreed to propel their ties into a new phase of deepened and practical cooperation looking ahead to the future for new achievements in all spheres mainstreaming the economy to benefit the people of the two nations.
This came following the bilateral talks held between Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani heading their respective ministers and senior officials at the Jubilee Palace in Addis Ababa.
Prime Minister Hailemariam conferring with the Emir on various aspects of the bilateral ties of the two countries noted that Ethiopia is enthusiastic about Qatari enterprises and its work to be part of Ethiopia’s rapid growth momentum.
The Emir of Qatar who appreciated of Ethiopia’s role in upholding peace and stability in the Horn of Africa committed that Qatar is ready to cooperate with Ethiopia in the fight against terrorist elements in the region. The Emir also noted that his country is willing to support Ethiopia’s developmental activities including its development of infrastructure.
In remarks made during bilateral talks with Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalenge, the Qatari emir said “we are determined to enhance the strategically important relations with Ethiopia, and we are on the right course.”
Hailemariam also said Ethiopia will continue to deepen its ties with Qatar. “We appreciate Qatar’s role in resolving conflicts in the Horn of Africa, as well as in Darfur,” he added.
According to a joint communique issued after the bilateral talks, the two countries underscored the need to further cooperate on international and regional issues of common concern.
Last December also witnessed a leap in the level of the Qatari-Ethiopian co-operation with the visit of Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, during which he met with Prime Minister Hailemariam.
The visit revealed Ethiopia’s keenness to encourage and attract Qatari investments and open the way for businesses, from different sectors, to establish joint projects between the two countries that will help in enhancing and activating the Ethiopian economy as well as creating positive opportunities for Qatari investors to interact with foreign projects with good economic and social returns.
The foreign minister’s visit to Ethiopia concluded with the signing of 11 co-operation agreements in various economic, tourism, investment and infrastructure sectors, supported the bilateral rapprochement between businesses in the two countries and enhanced co-operation in peace and security at both international and regional levels.
On the other hand, the Qatari-Ethiopian Joint Technical Committee is expected to play an important role in providing and enhancing investment opportunities in Ethiopia and develop bilateral relations in the economic and development fields.
During the committee’s second meeting in February last year, representatives from the two countries in the fields of foreign affairs, economy, energy and civil aviation met to put forward visions of co-operation for the coming period.
Both sides also agreed to make the previously signed agreements practical with a view to give fresh vitality to the existing Ethio-Qatar ties. Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani also held talks with President Dr. Mulatu Teshome.
The Emir after concluding his two-day state visit, heads to Kenya and will then visit South Africa as part of his Africa tour.
Ethiopia and Qatar had a stormy chapter in their diplomatic relations. In 2008, Ethiopia broke off its diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of providing direct and indirect assistance to terrorist groups in the Horn of Africa and to its arch foe, Eritrea.
Qatar had denied the charges.