Ethiopia has much to offer: Diplomat

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Addis Ababa, 10 February 2014 (WIC) - Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia have had long standing relations for many centuries in terms of business, tourism, religion and people-to-people contact, according to an Ethiopian Consulate official.   

Speaking to Saudi Gazette at the 2014 Jeddah International Travel & Tourism Exhibition (JTTX), which took place from Feb. 4 to 6 at Jeddah Hilton, Deputy Consul General (Business Section) Sherif Keri Osman emphasized the strong historical relationship the two countries have shared since the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Describing the depth of his country’s historical and distinguished relations with Saudi Arabia, he said: “I believe we share so many things with Saudi Arabia and we still enjoy a close relationship despite problems that have occurred lately.   

“However, both parties are working hard to improve ties.”   

He noted that Ethiopians would not face any problems in the Kingdom as long as they respect and comply with Saudi laws.   

He said the Ethiopian Consulate in Jeddah participated in a fair to promote the country as a potential tourist destination for Saudis.   

“We wanted to sustain the strong influx of Saudi travelers to Ethiopia during our participation at the 2014 Jeddah International Travel & Tourism Exhibition. We are showcasing our nation’s tourism products globally, which has helped enable Ethiopia to promote its natural, cultural and historical attractions to the rest of the world,” he said.   

Ethiopia has the potential to gain maximum benefit from the sector but has to do more to promote its tourist destinations, he added.   

During the fair brochures and organic Ethiopian coffee were served to visitors at the Ethiopian stand and a discussion was also held with potential tourists and various local travel agencies.   

Osman noted investment was also a growing area of cooperation between the two countries.   

He said a growing number of Saudi businessmen have invested $369 million in different sectors in Ethiopia. (