Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates have signed 17 bilateral agreements in Addis Ababa following bilateral talks between the leaders of the two countries.
“Bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the signing ceremony of 17 agreements,” the office of the Prime Minister announced.
“In a bilateral meeting held between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan with their respective delegations, both leaders acknowledged the ever strengthening ties between Ethiopia and the UAE. In particular they expressed the commitment to build stronger bridges in the benefit of both peoples and for the future generations,” the office of the PM said in a social media update.
However, areas of the agreement are unspecified. The Ethiopian Prime Minister has been accused of lack of transparency in his dealings with state actors.
United Arab Emirates President, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, arrived in Ethiopia on Friday morning.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his cabinet members accorded the UAE royal a warm reception as he arrived at Bole International Airport. He got a horse cortege escort as he was being driven to the palace – rare reception in Ethiopia.
Hours after his arrival, he opened, along with PM Abiy Ahmed, a Water and Energy exhibition at the Ethiopian Science Museum – according to a news update from the Office of Prime Minister. The office added that the exhibit “aims to showcase Ethiopia’s water and energy resources as well as potential and will be open for the coming weeks to the public.”
PM Abiy Ahmed has a controversial multi-billion birr luxury palace project in the capital Addis Ababa – the source of the funding the PM refused to disclose. There are speculations that Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is one of the founders but no confirmation yet.
The two leaders are close allies. The UAE reportedly supplied drones when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was undertaking what he initially called a law enforcement operation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia – a war that turned out to be the bloodiest in the history of Ethiopia. It is said to have claimed more than one million lives and over $28 billion in property damages. Currently, Abiy Ahmed is waging war in the Amara region of Ethiopia and deploying drones.
The diplomatic relations between the two countries have been growing since Abiy Ahmed took office in 2018. Then, Abiy Ahmed secured a $2 billion investment deal and $1 billion in financial aid to help improve Ethiopia’s foreign currency crisis at the time. Since then UAE investment, economic and political influence over Abiy Ahmed’s government has been growing.
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