Germany keen to further strengthen relations with Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa, 25 March 2014 (WIC) - Germany’s Foreign Minister, Doctor Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said his country is keen to further bolster its relation with Ethiopia.

Doctor Frank-Walter Steinmeie arrived in Addis Ababa yesterday for a day long official visit.

In a joint statement he gave with his Ethiopian counterpart after the visit on the same day, the Minister said that Germany is keen to further strengthen its relation in all sectors.

Dr Steinmeier described the relationship between the two countries as traditional and important, noting that more should be done to extend this as there was common ground for closer cooperation.

He further appreciated Ethiopia's contribution to the peace and stability of Africa and the Horn region in particular.

Dr. Tedros on his part thanked Germany for its commitment to help the Hon of Africa and expressed his hope that this close cooperation would continue.
At the same time he urged Germany to continue assisting the Somali Federal government in training its own security forces.

Dr. Tedros said the South Sudanese leaders needed to look at the bigger picture to solve the crisis in their country, and he explained that external forces, including Eritrea, were playing a role in aggravating the situation there.

Dr. Tedros explained to Dr Steinmeier that the Nile Basin countries had taken ten years to negotiate their Comprehensive Framework Agreement and this had now been signed by six of the nine riparian countries.

In addition, Sudan now supported the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project after the report of the International Panel of Experts had made it clear that the Dam would not cause any appreciable harm to either Sudan or Egypt.

Ethiopia had repeatedly assured Egypt that this was the case and stressed that only solution to the issue of Nile water was a win-win approach. It continued to try to discuss the issue with Egypt, and Dr. Tedros said Egypt should develop the necessary confidence to proceed with such dialogue.
Referring to the role of the European Union role in Africa, Dr. Tedros noted that Africa has now developed its own way security structure and was working to establish an Africa Stand-by Force.

Dr Steinmeier's visit to Addis Ababa is the start of a three-nation African tour which also includes Tanzania and Angola.