FM Gedu Says US Remains Among the Strongest Allies of Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa, February 18/2020(ENA) The United States of America remains one of the strongest allies of Ethiopia, Foreign Minister Gedu said. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is in Ethiopia for 3 days state visit, met and discussed about ways of strengthening bilateral relationship with Foreign Affairs Minister Gedu Andargachew.

Briefing journalists today, Gedu said that both countries enjoy a strong political, economic and security cooperation, adding that “Ethiopia attaches great importance to the cooperation with US as it undergoes broad reform program.”   

The two sides have agreed to work closely not only at bilateral level but also in multilateral issues of mutual concern, he added.

According to him, “US has affirmed its continued support to the ongoing Ethiopian political and economic reforms, promotion of peace and security, trade and economic development cooperation.”

He underscored that “a strong political will stands on both sides to strengthen the Ethiopia-US relations for the mutual shared benefits of the people of the two countries.”

Speaking about the tripartite negotiation on GERD, the minister said “ progress is being made on many issues, but there are still prevailing outstanding issues that need negotiations.”

Moreover, he stated that Ethiopia hopes to reach agreement based on the negotiation, the principles and the national interest of Ethiopia.

US Secretary of State Pompeo said on his part elements of an agreement about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is moving closer to finality, but there is still work that remains.

He said the objective of the United States and leaders of the tripartite countries is “to come to an accommodation that works for each of the three countries and the people of each of those three nations.”

The negotiations in which U.S and the World Bank attended as observers was very professional, according to the state secretary.

Pompeo stated that PM Abiy’s reforms are driving growth and encouraging American businesses to expand, adding “Ethiopia’s business friendly climate has made it a welcome place for American companies like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger.”

Mentioning that Abiy administration believes in accountable and inclusive democracy as America does, he pointed out that “democracy has special importance in places as diverse as Ethiopia.”

Pompeo stressed: “We will show there is no false choice between democracy and security and make sure everyone has a voice.”