|Qin Gang Holds Talks with Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hassen
On January 10, 2023 local time, Foreign Minister Qin Gang held talks with Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hassen in Addis Ababa.
Demeke said that Chinese Foreign Minister's visit to Ethiopia, the first leg of his overseas trip at the beginning of the new year, is of great significance to bilateral relations and Africa-China relations. He noted that Ethiopia and China have friendly traditions , and that the two countries always respect each other and enjoy strong and vigorous bilateral relations. He said that China has provided vital assistance for Ethiopia's efforts to overcome challenges and achieve economic and social development, and that China, by upholding principles and speaking up for justice in the international community, has strongly supported Ethiopia in safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity. Ethiopia will never forget this. Demeke said that Ethiopia expects to work with China to elevate bilateral relations across the board and expand practical cooperation in such fields as digital economy, agriculture and capacity building.
Highlighting that his first overseas trip after taking office as Chinese Foreign Minister is to Ethiopia and other African countries, Qin Gang said this reflects the uniqueness and importance of Africa and China-Ethiopia relations in China's overall diplomacy. He noted that China and Ethiopia are comprehensive strategic partners of cooperation, and that since the establishment of diplomatic relations more than half a century ago, the two sides have firmly supported each other in safeguarding their respective core interests and major concerns and exploring development paths suited to their national conditions, with strategic mutual trust increasingly deepened.
Qin Gang said that thanks to the solid political foundation and strong public support of both sides, cooperation between China and Ethiopia in various fields has developed rapidly, yielding fruitful results. He noted that Ethiopia has actively participated in the Belt and Road cooperation, and that China has been Ethiopia's largest source of foreign direct investment and largest trading partner for years running. A large number of key cooperation projects, including the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway, the Addis Ababa Light Rail, the Addis Ababa Riverside Green Development and leadership schools in Africa, have been completed successfully or are being implemented. It's important that the two sides take the implementation of the nine programs of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the outcomes of the Belt and Road cooperation as opportunities to seek greater synergy between development strategies, expand cooperation in various fields, and foster more new growth drivers, so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples.
Following the talks, the two sides signed a number of cooperation documents, including a memorandum of understanding on political consultation between the two foreign ministries.
Upon Qin Gang's arrival in Addis Ababa, Demeke greeted him at Bole International Airport.