Turkey seeking to enhance economic investment in Ethiopia. Several cooperation agreements signed as the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited Ankara
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday was on a visit to Ankara – which was said to be initiated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
His visit came on the 125th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries. In February of this year, Ethiopia inaugurated a new chancery in Ankara.
He wrote “Back home after having a precious time with His Excellency, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. Ethiopia will never forget the critical time cooperation the people and government of Turkey extended to us.”
He also expressed gratitude for what he called “Government and People of Turkey’s cooperation with Ethiopia at this critical time.”
According to a report by the Ethiopian News Agency, President Erdogan talked about the importance of maintaining Ethiopia’s peace and stability, and expressed his hope that conflicts in the country will be resolved.
The President also talked about his country’s readiness to mediate Ethiopia and Sudan. The two countries have a border dispute as Sudan has invaded Ethiopian territories since November 2020 after the Ethiopian Defense Force based in the border area was withdrawn from the region for deployment against Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces who attacked the northern command of the Ethiopian Defense Force.
Gen. Abdul-Fattah Al-Burhan of Sudan, who is President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council and General Commander of the Armed Forces, was in Ankara last week for a two days working visit with invitation from President Erdogan. The two countries have signed “a number of agreements in the military, foreign, economic, agricultural, media and energy fields,” as reported by SUNA.
Ethiopia and Turkey’s economic relation has seen growth over the past two decades. Currently, Turkey has U.S $ 2.5 billion dollar investment in Ethiopia. And president Erdogan expressed his country’s interest to invest more in Ethiopia. Earlier this week, Ethiopia handed over schools that used to be owned by the Gulen movement to Marif Foundation.
Details of the agreement between the two countries are not disclosed at this point.
PM Abiy Ahmed’s trip to Turkey is his first one outside the continent since the outbreak of the war with Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in November 2020.
His government has been under immense pressure from the United States and the European Union over alleged human rights violations, including rape and sexual violence, in the Tigray region of Ethiopia which is not yet under investigation by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the UN Human Rights body.
The pressure turned out to be rather a positive one for his government from the point of view of forging support. It brought more Ethiopians on the side of the government as they saw the intervention in the internal affairs of Ethiopia dangerous.
U.S. special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Jeffery Feltman, was on a scheduled trip to Ethiopia a day before the Prime Minister left for Turkey, but he did not meet him as was the case with USAId administrator, Samantha Power, who visited Ethiopia earlier this month.