17 December 2012

Ethiopia: Minister Holds Talks With Norway's Foreign Minister

Dr. Tewodros held discussions with Espen Barth Eide, foreign minister of Norway, at his office today. The two sides discussed on various regional and domestic matters, and the Norwegian minister reaffirmed Norway's readiness to continue with its holistic support to Ethiopia.

He expressed his government's appreciation of the rapid and equitable economic development of Ethiopia over the past decade, noting that "Ethiopia is one among few countries receiving significant Norwegian development assistance". Dr. Tewodros for his part expressed his thanks for Norway's decision to double its development assistance to Ethiopia.

The two sides discussed the business climate in Ethiopia and on ways to increase Norwegian investment in Ethiopia. The Norwegian Foreign Minister emphasized the growing interest of Norwegian businessmen in investing in Ethiopia and raised various questions presented to his Ministry on investment in Ethiopia. Dr. Tewodros briefed the Minister on the encouraging investment regime available and on the different mechanisms put in place by the government to sort out and address bottlenecks. The two sides also discussed the security and political situation of the region.

On Somalia, they were in agreement in welcoming the achievements of the political-process that had culminated in the successful formation of the new government as "a milestone event". Dr. Tewodros highlighted the importance of increased assistance from the international community to ensure the resurgence of a stable Somalia. He further underlined the importance of having the political process led by Somalis themselves. This, he said, was an indispensable point for the consolidation of stability in Somalia.

The two sides also discussed the current situation between the Sudan and South Sudan, underlining the importance of continuing negotiations on Abyei and on the other unresolved issues. They agreed on the necessity for ensuring the implementation of the Addis Ababa agreements as vital to the stability of the two neighboring countries and the region. Espen Barth Eide also congratulated Ethiopia on its election a member of the UN Human Rights Council.

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