Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn announced his government’s willingness to support Israel’s desire to restore its observatory status at the African Union (AU).
Hailemariam said Israel deserves the observatory status because it is working closely with all African countries.
Hailemariam’s position came after Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, visited four East African states including Ethiopia, mainly aiming to restore his country’s observer status at the AU.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been visiting four East African countries including Ethiopia, this week. Convincing the regional leaders about Israel’s return to Africa was one of the main aims of Netanyahu’s visit. Israel has pulled out from the continent in the 1980s following its frosty relationship with Africa for supporting apartheid rule in South Africa.
Hailemariam said that the two countries have a historic bond that has tied them for millennia. He said: “Israel has a place in the hearts of Ethiopians and Ethiopia has a place in the hearts of Israelis”. This speech was echoed by Netanyahu while he made his speech at the House of People’s Representatives (HPR).
While addressing the media, Halemariam was explicit in confirming his country’s position for backing Israel to return to its status at the AU. He said because “our foreign policy is established on the basis of Ethiopia’s interest.”
PM Netanyahu arrived at Bole International Airport on Thursday morning. He was then welcomed at the national palace by Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome (PhD) and Prime Minister Hailemariam.
The two ministers have conducted a separate meeting followed by extended meetings between their delegations who have reached on several bilateral agreements. Science, technology and tourism are the agreements signed by the respective officials of the two states.
Israel has also showed interest to cooperate on water, agriculture, communications and tourism.
The fields that Israel wants to cooperate and what Ethiopia is insisting are compatible, according to PM Netanyahu.
“We are committed to enhancing our partnership and our friendship in concrete ways. This is not just a one shot thing. It’s not just statements. It is a plan for concrete cooperation in areas that are important for both our peoples” he said.