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PM Dr Abiy’s visits elevate ties with Korea, Japan, Israel: Ambassadors

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Addis Ababa, September 9, 2019 (FBC) – Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed’s visits to South Korea, Japan and Israel were successful in elevating the bilateral relations, said Ambassadors of the respective countries.

Last August, the Premier visited South Korea and Israel as well as participated at the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-7) held in Yokohama, Japan.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Korean Ambassador to Ethiopia, Lim Hoon-min said that Prime Minister Dr Abiy’s visit was of paramount significance towards further strengthening the relationship of the two countries in many areas.

The Premier held series of meetings with top Korean companies such as Samsung electronics, Hyundai, and Korean Exim Bank as well as with science and technology institute.

“This is the first African leader visit to Korea since the inauguration of the current administration in Korea. I think it has a very important meaning to both countries. And his visit was a great success. Firstly, both leaders solidified the current bilateral relations between the two countries which are based on historical ties and they also agreed to work and to increase the level of our cooperation in many areas,” Ambassador Hoon-min elaborated.

Some five agreements, including the $86 million to support the Adama Science and Technology University, were signed during the visit.

According to him, both leaders discussed on various frameworks to make the cooperation more diversified and concrete in the areas of environment, trade, science and technology, as well as human exchanging and culture.

“Our relationship has been very satisfactory but it still has much room for further development and further corporation. I think, particularly in the areas of the economic cooperation. So his series of meetings with the Korean companies and the discussion with our president for providing concrete framework for the further corporation was very successful and it will provide us with a very good starting point,” the ambassador added.

Japanese Ambassador to the AU, Fumio Shimizu said that the visit was very much constructive both for the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-7) and bilateral meetings.

“It is regarding the peace and stability in the region of Horn of Africa. Japan, Africa and the international community welcomed Prime Minister Abiy’s initiative to bring peace in this region and it was discussed in the TICAD-7 meeting as well the special meeting regarding the peace and stability in the Horn of Africa.

So, we would like to continue supporting Abiy’s and Ethiopia’s initiative and with the African countries and institutions as well as partners,” he pointed out.

Economic development in Ethiopia was the other point of discussion, he stated, adding that “we welcomed the Prime Minister’s economic reform and we would like to support such effort.”

“Japan would like to support the agricultural development in Ethiopia and for that the road construction is important. So, Japan would like to support the building of roads in Ethiopia as well as dispatching Japanese agricultural experts to Ethiopia,” Ambassador Shimizu pointed out.

Israeli Ambassador to Ethiopia, Raphael Morav on his part said that the Prime Minister’s visit was the continuation of the high level contacts between the two countries long-standing and historical relations.

He further stated that in “this continuation the main purpose was to strengthen and to reinvigorate the many economic relations between the two countries.”

“We focused mainly on agriculture which is the main economic sector in Ethiopia where more than 80 percent of the people still live out of it,” Ambassador Morav said, adding “Israel has a very a strong experience and know how that we are willing to share with Ethiopia.”

“Irrigation, this is a strategic sector activity for the Ethiopian government to develop and transform the agriculture and Israel is very advancing in these fields. Israel invented drip irrigation and we already tried to and introduced in Ethiopia but what we should do is in a large scale” the Israeli ambassador noted.

Stating that both countries face the same threats of cyber and terrorism, he added that there were discussions beyond agriculture modernization particularly the export oriented production of avocado.

“So as I said the irrigation will replace in a sense of the avocado but I can see also a project maybe in the cyber security this could become a project of research aqua-culture. So, we have a roadmap now we have to work in order to make it a safe programs and projects,” Ambassador Morav explained.

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