Germany’s new foreign affairs chief, Heiko Maas, is in Ethiopia for the first leg of his two-nation African trip. It is his first African mission since taking office barely two months ago. He has held meetings with the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union on a number of mutual issues including financing the A.U.
After meeting with Ethiopian government officials for talks, he is expected to visit Tanzania on the final leg of his trip.
“I am looking forward to my first trip to Africa as German Foreign Minister. We have close and special relations with many African countries. These relations are important to us and we want to foster and expand them”, his office said in a statement on Tuesday, May 2.
During their meeting on May 3, Heiko Maas and Foreign Affairs State Minister HirutZemene discussed the status of the ongoing reform in Ethiopia. Briefing Maas, State Minister Hirut said the transition of power following the resignation of former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn was transparent, democratic and smooth.
As a result, the country has now come back to normalcy and the dialogue between the ruling party and competing parties which started a year ago also manifests the desire to open up the political space, she noted. Recently, there were very serious deliberations and the government is pushing the reform process forward.
Germany’s Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas praised the willingness of the new Prime Minister for dialogue and expressed his best wishes for the success of the country.
The German government also recognizes the leading role of Ethiopia in terms of keeping peace and security in the region and in the continent, Maas stressed.
Ethiopia and Germany have strong cooperation in development, investment, and trade, Hirut said, further calling for Germany investors to invest in renewable energy development in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia and Germany have a longstanding diplomatic relations that goes back to 1905.