Ethiopia - France: Emanuel Macron reaffirms his support for Ethiopian reform
Arrival in France Monday, October 29, 2018, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, was received at the Elysee, in Paris, by the French President, Emanuel Macron. During this meeting, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Emmanuel Macron discussed ways and means to strengthen bilateral cooperation between Ethiopia and France. French President Emanuel Macron reiterates that he will continue to support the reforms undertaken in Ethiopia. (Source ENA)
In a joint declaration issued by Prime Minister Abiy and President Macron, the two leaders have agreed to cooperate in wide range of issues.
On the occasion Primer Abiy indicated that the two countries have longstanding strong relation and Ethiopia desires to further strengthen ties with France.
Abiy said he expects Macron to play a key role in peacemaking efforts between neighboring Eritrea and Djibouti, which have agreed last month to normalize ties a decade after a border standoff that led to a brief military conflict.
He also vowed to tackle the violence gripping Ethiopia, saying it would be resolved through "greater peace-building in the whole country”.
"The communal conflicts cannot undo the reform agenda,” he added, arguing that economic reforms would help end the violence by bringing greater prosperity.
The reform process is contributing to greater peace in the country, Abiy said.
Macron and Abiy also pledged to increase cultural cooperation, especially on World Heritage sites such as the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela.
France will contribute to the maintenance and renovation of the site, Abiy said.
President Macron offered "all my support and that of France” in reforming Ethiopia and "in calming domestic tensions”, telling Abiy at a press conference in Paris: "You have here a country which loves yours but also admires the transformation you are carrying out”.
"I know how much he has risked to see these reforms through and how much these reforms are fraught with difficulties, but also how much Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has chosen a courageous path,” Macron told reporters.
He added that the political, economic, social and cultural transformation that the Abiy leadership is in the process of carrying out and committed to Ethiopia is unprecedented.
France welcomed "the rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea.” Both countries pledged to "continue their efforts in order to promote peace and prosperity in the region.”
Ethiopia’s new leader "chose a courageous path, we will stand by his side,” Macron reaffirmed at a news conference.
Macron announced he will visit Ethiopia in March.