After Restoring Direct Flight, Ethiopia and Pakistan Aim to Diversify Relations

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia and Pakistan seek to expand their relations further following the resumption of a regular direct flight between Addis Ababa and Karachi.

An Ethiopian delegation led by State Minister of Foreign Affairs Mesganu Arga went to Pakistan onboard the inaugural flight of Ethiopian Airlines on Tuesday.

State Minister Mesganu met with Pakistan’s foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Islamabad on Wednesday.

The two sides exchanged views on various bilateral issues to further strengthen the historical relations of the two countries, Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

During their discussions, Mesganu reaffirmed Ethiopia’s commitment to strengthening and diversifying its relations with Pakistan.

The ongoing visit comes a year after Ethiopia opened its embassy in Islamabad – a move, Pakistani top diplomat Zardari said, that “symbolizes growing friendly ties” between the two countries.

Pakistan FM: ‘Flight opens endless opportunities

Foreign Minister Zardari also appreciated Ethiopian Airlines for resuming the direct flight between Addis Ababa and Karachi, after nearly two decades of hiatus.

“The resumption of the flight is a significant milestone in our countries relations,” he told a press briefing after his meeting with State Minister Mesganu.

“It is a bridge that will reconnect our nations, bring our people and rich cultures closer together,” he added.

According to Zardari, the regular flight will provide a new avenue for cooperation by creating trade and investment links.

“It will open endless possibilities for collaboration in various fields such as in education, tourism, and technology,” the Minister stated.

After the resumption of Ethiopian Airlines operations in Pakistan, a resident mission of the East African nation is scheduled for inauguration in Islamabad on Friday.

The latest developments show, Zardari said, the governments of the two nations’ “unwavering commitment” to strengthen and expand their cooperation.

Getaway for Pakistan’s Vision in Africa

On Tuesday, the visiting Ethiopian delegation took part in the Ethiopia-Pakistan business forum that discussed cooperation in trade and investment.

State minister Mesganu briefed Pakistani businesses about the policy and practices of doing business in Ethiopia and the comparative advantages of investing in the country.

The forum was attended by Zubair Motiwata, Chief of the Trade and Development Authority of Pakistan, who spoke of Pakistan’s plan to expand its trade ties with Africa.

Ethiopia is a gateway, said Zubair, to Pakistan’s vision of strengthening its existing trade and investment relations with Africa.

The forum concluded with a signing of an agreement between the two countries’ chambers of commerce.

The MoU will pave the way for the two chambers to work together in trade and investment, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Earlier this year, Ethiopia and Pakistan agreed to establish a joint trade committee and a joint business council to facilitate frequent and structured business-to-business interaction.