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Italian president to visit Ethiopia

The President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, is expected to arrive in Addis Ababa tomorrow for a four-day state visit from Sunday to Thursday. Mattarella is said to be the first Italian president to visit Ethiopia in almost two decades.

The president will hold meetings and discussions with the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Mulatu Teshome (PhD), and Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn over various bilateral issues.

Apart from meeting and he will hold a discussion with higher officials of in the government. Mattarella will also meet the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church his holiness Abune Mathias and pay a tribute to the Arat Kilo Monument.

During the visit, the president will discuss the partnership between the two countries in the fields of economic development, regional stability and migration issues, as well as the prospects of further cooperation, especially in the cultural and academic sectors.

In this regard, the Minister of Education, University and Research of Italy, Stefania Giannini, and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mario Giro, will accompany the President.

According to the information obtained from the Italian embassy in Addis Ababa, the mission is expected to mark at the highest possible level the excellent phase of bilateral relationship between Ethiopia and Italy in all sectors.

The president is also scheduled to visit a refugee camp in Gambella, supported by the Italian Development Agency, and the World Heritage Site of Lalibela, in order to pay tribute to the impressive historical and cultural richness of Ethiopia.

Furthermore, a meeting is also scheduled with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (PhD), to discuss and strengthen Italy’s role in promoting a more prosperous, integrated and peaceful African continent, as one of the key actors in addressing the common challenges facing the international community, such as climate change, development, terrorism and migration.

The newly refurbished Auditorium of the Italian Cultural Institute will also be inaugurated at the presence of the Italian President. Furthermore, Mattarella will also meet the Italian Community at the Juventus Club and will address the students of the Italian State School.

Sergio Mattarella, born 23 July 1941 is an Italian politician, lawyer and judge who have been President of Italy since 2015. He was a Member of Parliament from 1983 to 2008, serving as Minister of Education from 1989 to 1990 and as Minister of Defense from 1999 to 2001.

In 2011, he became an elected judge on the Constitutional Court. On 31 January 2015, he was elected by parliament to be the 12th President of the Italian Republic. He is the first Sicilian to have held the post.