Ms Kerstin M=FCller, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, met Mr Dawit Johannes, Speaker of the Parliament of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, on Tuesday (14 January) in the Federal Foreign Office.
The two countries have maintained diplomatic relations for almost 100 years. The visit of Dawit Johannes helps further enhance the traditionally good German-Ethiopian relations. Ethiopia is a focus of our development cooperation. During the intergovernmental negotiations in Addis Ababa on 17/18 June 2002, Germany pledged funds to the tune of EUR 65 million for the next three years.
Minister of State M=FCller pointed to the bilateral and multilateral humanitarian aid that Germany provided over the last year. She promised the continued assistance of the Federal Government in view of the emerging food crisis which will affect up to 15 million people in Ethiopia this year alone.
Minister of State M=FCller paid tribute to Ethiopia's important role in stepping up regional and multilateral cooperation in Africa. As home to African Union headquarters, Ethiopia, she said, had assumed an active role in pan-African development initiatives with its seat on the NEPAD Steering Committee.
She welcomed the efforts of the Ethiopian Government to further develop democratic structures. Minister of State M=FCller emphasized that it was now a matter of further pursuing this course and engaging all political forces and regions of the country. She agreed with Mr Johannes that only a consolidation of democratic structures that is in line with the needs of the country and the respect of human rights can foster stability in all regions of Ethiopia.