Ethiopian, Russian Foreign Ministers Hold Talks in Moscow

ADDIS ABEBA – Foreign Affairs minister of Ethiopia Gedu Andargachew has held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow.

During their discussion on Tuesday, the Ethiopian diplomat stressed that Addis Ababa sought to further strengthen and enhance relations with Moscow.

Now is a good opportunity for the two nations to take their longstanding relationship to the next step, Foreign minister Gedu said. Ethiopia and Russia established a formal diplomatic relation soon after the victory of Adewa 121 years ago.

They have established Ethio-Russia joint commission which will hold its meeting in October.

Increasing their cooperation in the area of technology, aviation industry and culture will be a major agenda during the commission’s meeting, according to Ethiopia’s foreign affairs ministry’s statement.

Gedu also briefed also took the opportunity to call on Russian businesses to invest in the east African nation.

Ethiopia could be “the gateway to Africa, because Ethiopia has a very good strategic position in African political and economic situation. It will be beneficial for the two peoples,” Gedu said.

Some companies have already expressed their interest to do business in the African nation with Russian Railways expressing its hope  to add projects in Ethiopia to its African portfolio in June, according to Sputnik’s report.

“We raised the issue in the railway sector. Russian companies will come to engage in Ethiopian railway construction. We will talk in detail about this issue,” Gedu told Sputnik.

Lavrov for his part said Ethiopia has been a key partner for Russia in Africa for over 120 years.

“We appreciate the traditions of friendship, mutual respect, trust, and support that have developed over this period of time and make up the basis of our relations today,” he said.

Foreign minister Gedu invited Lavrov to visit Ethiopia, and said his country will be represented at the highest level at the first Russia-Africa Summit in the Russian resort city of Sochi on October 24, 2019.