The 4th Ethiopia-South Africa Joint Ministerial Commission meeting was held today at the Skylight Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Co-chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen and Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, H.E. Dr. Naledi Pandor, the high-level meeting was replete with senior experts’ deliberations on ways of further strengthening the multifaceted, longstanding diplomatic relations between the two countries.
In his opening remarks, DPM and FM Demeke said, the JMC meeting provided ample opportunity to participants to discuss ways of enhancing the cooperation between Ethiopia and the Southern African nation towards the advancement of the mutual benefit of their respective peoples. He stressed, previously signed miscellaneous bilateral agreements and MoU in various fields of cooperation.
He underlined that previously signed agreements and MOUs in various fields have created ample opportunities to deepen the cooperation and called on both parties to redouble their efforts to further expedite trade, investment and, knowledge and skills transfer ties as well as to further cement the people-to-people relations especially in the cultural sphere. He also urged the need for further collaborating on regional, continental and multilateral issues of mutual interest.
In addition, H.E. Demeke commended the People and Government of the Republic of South Africa for hosting the Pretoria Peace process, which brought an historic end to the conflict in Northern Ethiopia under the Pan-African principle of “African Solutions for African Problems”.
He concluded his remarks by stating that the two countries need to work closely on the full implementation of existing agreements and newly inked ones towards enhancing the multispectral economic, social and political cooperation of the two countries to a higher level.
Dr. Pandor, on her part, commended the Ethiopian Government for the keen and active engagements to solidify cooperation. In tandem with realising bilateral aspirations, the Minister noted, the strong cooperation between the two countries could contribute significantly to the realisation of African Union’s “Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want”. She added, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) serves as a catalyst in the pursuit of economic integration on the African Continent. Like-minded and progressive countries like South Africa and Ethiopia should defend the core values and interests of the Africa Union, she underscored Dr. Pandor.
Last but not least, the DIRCO Minister commended the Government of Ethiopia for the positive strides made hitherto and assured the continued support of the South African Government.
Among other things, the signing of an Extradition Treaty was one of the key takeaways of this year’s JMC.
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