Qatar, Ethiopia vow to boost ties

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (L) meets President of Ethiopia Mulatu Teshome (R) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on April 10, 2017.
(Minasse Wondimu Hailu – Anadolu Agency)

By Seleshi Tessema


Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has vowed to boost ties with Ethiopia during his first leg of a three-nation Africa tour.

Al-Thani arrived in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Monday.

In remarks made during bilateral talks with Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalenge, the Qatari emir said: “We are determined to enhance the strategically important relations with Ethiopia, and we are on the right course.”

Dessalenge said Ethiopia will continue to deepen its ties with Qatar.

“We appreciate Qatar’s role in resolving conflicts in the Horn of Africa, as well as in Darfur,” he added.

According to a joint communique issued after the bilateral talks, the two countries underscored the need to further cooperate on international and regional issues of common concern.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Meles Alemu told Anadolu Agency the Qatari delegation agreed to provide Ethiopia with humanitarian assistance.

They have also agreed to establish a joint ministerial committee which would follow up the implementation of agreement they had signed last year, he added.

Ethiopia and Qatar had a stormy chapter in their diplomatic relations. In 2008, Ethiopia broke off its diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of providing direct and indirect assistance to terrorist groups in the Horn of Africa and to its arch foe, Eritrea.

Qatar had denied the charges.

“This is a thing of the past, we have managed to put it behind us since the restoration of diplomatic ties in 2012,” Meles said.

The emir will visit Kenya and South Africa next.

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