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The Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visits Ethiopia

Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland arrived in Ethiopia for a business visit on Tuesday (January 8). During his visit, Mr. Leo Varadkar held talks with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on bilateral, regional and international issues. The Prime Minister also made a courtesy call to President Sahle-Work Zewde and met with the Acting President of the African Union Commission as well as visiting the churches of Lalibela Rock-Hewn and the support received from Irish Aid in the Regional State of Tigray. 2019 marks 25 years of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Ethiopia and 25 years of Irish Aid work in Ethiopia, and the visit of the Taoiseach emphasized the depth and strength of relations between our two countries and the achievements of the partnership to date.

During the talks with Prime Minister Dr Abiy on Wednesday 9 January, both sides stressed the importance of further strengthening the long-standing and excellent relations between the two countries. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed noted that the visit of the Irish prime minister was a testimony of strengthened ties between Europe and Ethiopia. The Irish Prime Minister has praised the ongoing reforms in Ethiopia over the last few months and reiterated the continued support of his government to Ethiopia, particularly in agriculture investments. They also discussed Ireland's support for ongoing political and economic reforms in Ethiopia, the growth of Ireland's development cooperation program with Ethiopia and regional issues in the Horn of Africa. , including the historic rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Prime Minister Varadkar addressed a courtesy invitation to President Sahle-Work, who welcomed the prime minister and stressed the excellent relations between Ireland and Ethiopia that are going ahead. Stresses the importance of strengthening cooperation in bilateral and multilateral fora and thanks the Irish Government for its support in the areas of agriculture, health, education and social protection. He emphasized the role of Irish investors in agro-processing and encouraged Irish investors to participate in agro-transformation in industrial parks. The prime minister, who claimed to have been the first Irish prime minister to visit Ethiopia for a decade, highlighted Irish / Ethiopian collaboration on a myriad of bilateral and regional issues of common interest. He stated: "Ethiopia has been our only international interlocutor for 25 years and we would like to further deepen our relations" adding: "We support the recent political and economic reforms undertaken by Ethiopia". "Ireland", he said, "is committed to promoting cooperation between businesses, trade and investments with Ethiopia".

During his visit, the Irish Prime Minister met the Irish NGOs working in Ethiopia and attended a reception with the Irish community in Ethiopia, where he launched the Association of Ethnic-Irish Alumni. Thursday (January 10th) flew to the Lalibela Rock-Hewn Churches, a UNESCO world heritage site where he announced a new partnership between Ireland and Ethiopia on cultural heritage and rural tourism. Varadkar said that this partnership will allow exchanges and sharing of experiences between Irish and Ethiopian institutions, focusing on cultural heritage tourism and on the creation of rural jobs through tourism. Said the Minister of culture and tourism of Ethiopia, dr. Hirut Kassaw I would like to visit Ireland meet the relevant bodies and finalize a program of sharing experiences between Ireland and Ethiopia. There is already a partnership covering cultural heritage tourism, but the new program will deepen the partnership over the next two years. He said that Lalibela will join the event & # 39; Global Greening & # 39; 2019 and, together with hundreds of other sites around the world, will become green on St. Patrick's Day 2019, to celebrate the profound friendship between the Ethiopian and Irish people.

He then traveled to Axum where he visited numerous programs of agriculture, health, education and social protection jointly supported by Irish Aid and the Ethiopian government. Friday visited the Eritrean refugee camps near Shire and met refugees and local authorities to discuss Ireland's support for Ethiopia by hosting the second largest refugee population in Africa and their joint global engagement Compact for Migration.

Ireland is one of the main partners for the development of Ethiopia. In 2018, the Irish government, through Irish Aid, invested 30 million euros in social protection, health, rural development and women's empowerment in Ethiopia. This will increase this year by almost 7% to € 32 million (1 billion of Ethiopian Birr). Ireland's development cooperation program with Ethiopia is the largest bilateral program of Irish government in the world. Many Irish investors and companies are engaged in various investment sectors in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia and Ireland have a very strong and excellent relationship cemented on solid diplomatic ties and between peoples. Ireland opened its embassy in Addis Ababa in 1994, and Ethiopia resumed its mission in Dublin in 2003, but the report is based on broad issues of mutual interest and precedes formal relations . The most visible example of this was during the height of the 1984 famine in which so many Ethiopians died. Ireland's response to that catastrophe remains a vivid and warm memory for the Ethiopians. The most notable of the humanitarian efforts of the Irish people was the work of the Irish rock star, Sir Bob Geldof, whose initiative in organizing the Band Aid program mobilized the international community to provide the support that enabled the survival of millions of Ethiopians. The passionate and sincere response of the Irish people and their government to that crisis has remained a keystone of current bilateral cooperation and interpersonal relations.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, London, United Kingdom.Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, London, United Kingdom
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