Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was in Ethiopia on 16 March as part of a three-day tour of east Africa. He met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Foreign Minister Workneh and discussed regional security and expanding cooperation in areas such as migration, development, investment and trade.
Mr Johnson told the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister there was much the two countries agreed on and great potential to deepen the relationship further. He hoped that progress could be made on the issues important to both countries to allow that potential to be realised. He also raised the case of Andargachew Tsege and discussed the importance of ensuring fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression.
At Africa’s largest airline, Ethiopian Airlines, the Foreign Secretary saw the benefits that both countries are already experiencing from the growing trade relationship. Ethiopia’s flag carrier uses Airbus 350s that are designed in the UK, have UK manufactured wings and are powered by British Rolls Royce engines.
He also went for a run with double-Olympic champion Haile Gebrselasse, one of the organisers of the Great Ethiopian Run, which is modelled on the UK’s Great North Run.
At the end of his visit the Foreign Secretary said:
On my first visit to Ethiopia I have been excited to see great examples of the ever increasing cooperation between our two countries. From Ethiopian Airlines, where British technical and engineering expertise is helping an African business to grow and prosper, to our growing cultural links typified by the Great Ethiopian Run.
Together the UK and Ethiopia can work to make our countries and the region stronger, safer and more prosperous, from combating the devastating drought to enhancing security for people in neighbouring Somalia. We have much that unites us and I look forward to continuing and strengthening this relationship in the years to come.