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Joint Statement: visit of the Foreign Secretary to Ethiopia

The Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, The Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson MP paid a working visit to Ethiopia on 16 March 2017

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The Foreign Secretary was warmly welcomed by his Ethiopian counterpart H.E. Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu. 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 the UK-Ethiopia relations. Both countries agreed to further strengthen their cooperation at bilateral, regional and international level.

The Foreign Secretary was also received by H.E. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. During their discussion, both agreed that there was great potential for the bilateral relations to advance further, building on existing co-operation. Both welcomed the jobs compact announced during the UN General Assembly meetings in September 2016 as a concrete example of how the two countries can work together to improve opportunities both for Ethiopians and for refugees from the region.

Prime Minister Hailemariam and Foreign Secretary Johnson shared their serious concerns about the drought affecting the Horn of Africa region. Both welcomed the relief efforts, including the £11.5m contribution to support Ethiopia announced by the UK Secretary of State for International Development during her visit to Addis Ababa in January 2017. But both recognised that further urgent action would be required if conditions on the ground are not to deteriorate further.

They also discussed Somalia and new developments following the recent elections. Given the UK’s leading role on Somalia in the UN Security Council and Ethiopia’s role as a neighbour and major troop contributor including to the African Union Mission, the two countries have a shared desire to work with the new Somali government to respond to the drought, to improve stability and security. Prime Minister Hailemariam confirmed his intention to attend the London Conference on Somalia in May, and both governments looked forward to this as an important occasion to consolidate a new comprehensive partnership with Somalia for 2018 and beyond.

Published 16 March 2017