ADDIS ABABA – Prime minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed has started his two-day state visit to South Korea on Sunday afternoon.
Abiy is expected to hold talks South Korea’s President Moon Jae on a broad range of partnerships between the two countries.
Upon his arrival in Seoul, the prime minister was welcomed in an official ceremony by the Government of South Korea.
Members of the Ethiopian community in Seoul also warmly welcomed the PM and his delegation, the prime minister’s office said in a statement.
Prime Minister Abiy become the first leader of Ethiopia to visit South Korea in eight years, and also marks the first trip to South Korea by an African leader since the launch of the Moon administration in May 2017.
In their meeting, slated for Monday, Moon and Abiy plan to discuss ways to “strengthen mutually beneficial, future-oriented substantive cooperation” in various sectors, including trade, investment, development cooperation, science and technology, as well as the environment, forest and climate change, Korean Yonhap news agency reported on Friday.
The two sides will also reaffirm support for each other’s regional peace initiative, it added.
Ethiopia is a traditional friend of South Korea as the sole African country that dispatched ground troops to help it fight against invading North Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War. It sent 3,518 service members. Among them, 122 were killed and 536 were wounded.
Ethiopia, home to the African Union, consisting of 55 member states, is South Korea’s largest African partner in development cooperation.
Abiy made a visit to South Korea on June 2013 in a parliamentary delegation, as he served as head of the friendly association of South Korean and Ethiopian lawmakers from February 2012 till April 2018.