Ethiopia Laudes China’s Support in its COVID Response

ADDIS ABEBA – Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonen has commended China’s anti-COVID-19 assistance, said the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry.

Demeke, who is also Ethiopia’s foreign minister, has expressed his government’s appreciation to China during a discussion he held with the new Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia Zhao Zhiyuan on Thursday.

The African country appreciates not only the government but also the valuable support offered by the Chinese companies including the Jack Ma Foundation, in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement from foreign Ministry.

Chinese ambassador Zhao pledged to scale up China’s already strong relationship with Ethiopia on issues of importance to both countries, including in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, it said.

Beijing has donated several batches of medical supplies to Ethiopia to help fight the virus while its medical professionals undertaking experience-sharing programs with their Ethiopian counterparts on how to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the East African nation.

As of Friday, COVID-19 cases in Ethiopia, after conducting more than 1.8mln tests, confirmed 130,326 with 2,023 deaths.

Other issues discussed

Demeke and Zhao have also held a fruitful discussion on other principal issues, including debt relief, and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Demeke express his “hope that China’s considerations of debt suspensions/reliefs to some of Ethiopia’s projects”. Such a move “would continue to help Ethiopia mitigate the adverse impacts of the pandemic”, he added.

China’s principled stance on the issue of the GERD was also a subject of Demeke’s talking points and Beijing’s  stance which echos the principle of African solutions to African problems’ applauded by the deputy prime minister.

The latest developments in Tigray, where the federal government carried out a law enforcement operation after forces of the former ruling party of the region attacked the federal military base there, was also a subject of their talks.

Demeke also assured the ambassador that the government has maintained rule of law in the region while continuing to jointly work with international agencies in providing humanitarian assistance and other relief measures to affected people.

“With the capture and neutralization of the TPLF leaders, normalcy is returning to the region,”  Demeke added.

According to foreign Ministry, Zhao thanked the Deputy prime minister for the briefings on pivotal issues of the country and vowed to scale up the already strong relationship that exists between the two countries.