United Arab Emirates: Ethiopian PM on working visit,met Ethiopians

United Arab Emirates and Ethiopia have a range of bilateral agreements including military cooperation

United Arab Emirates _ Ethiopia
Ethiopians in the Gulf region attending a meeting with PM Abiy Ahmed. Credit : Office of PM

February 14, 2020

As the Ethiopian election date is officially declared, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is on a three days working visit to the United Arab Emirates where he met with thousands of Ethiopians. 

Among members of the delegation, he led to Abu Dhabi are people like Muferiat Kamil, who is the minister for peace and other high ranking officials from the Ministry of  Foreign Affairs Ethiopia.

He was warmly received by UAE’s Foreign Minister Diab Mohammed bin Zayed and other senior government officials upon arrival in the country on Thursday morning.

On the first day of his visit, he had a consultation with about three hundred community representatives and leaders of Ethiopians living in different countries in the Gulf region. Those Ethiopians posed questions to the Prime Minister regarding the situation in Ethiopia. Also, matters related to their community life in their country of residence in the Gulf region, the office of the prime minister disclosed on Thursday.

On the second day of his visit, Abiy met with about fifteen thousand Ethiopians,according to government sources,  at the Shabab Al Ahli stadium in the afternoon.

Ethiopia _ United Arab Emirates
Children of Ethiopian Descent during Abiy Ahmed meeting event in Abu Dhabi

“I had the opportunity to meet and discuss with the Ethiopian diaspora in the U.S.A and Europe. I did the same with the Ethiopian diaspora living in South Africa a few weeks ago. I am happy beyond measures to be able to meet with Ethiopians living in the Middle East countries,” Abiy told the euphoric crowd, as quoted by the office of the Prime Minister.

Abiy spoke to the crowd in Amharic and his mother tongue, Oromifa. According to Gulf News, he said, “The Ethiopia that we envision is a country where the future generation will enjoy the hard work that we are doing today. They will go abroad not to work as laborers or domestic helpers but as professionals.”

Abiy reportedly discussed issue of Ethiopian communities in the country during his meeting with UAE officials and signed a bilateral agreement to protect the dignity of Ethiopians. If report by Ethiopian government affiliated sources are true, Ethiopian community members in the country could have their own church and school.

 “…All of you Ethiopians and of Ethiopian descent have come here to labour in any field possible and change your lives and that of your people. The tribulation and pain you endured due to this is an unwritten and amazing book. The contribution you are making for your country while passing through challenges should be told in a unique manner. Your government has signed bilateral agreements with the governments of Middle East countries so that you work with dignity and labour rights,” he said

Abiy will wrap up his three days working visit to UAE on Saturday.

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