The second India-Ethiopia Foreign Office Consultations were held on 24 January 2012 in Addis Ababa to discuss the follow up of decisions taken at India Africa Forum Summit and at the bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. This was the first meeting after the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s visit to Addis Ababa in may 2011.
The Indian delegation was led by H.E Ambassador Gurjit Singh, Additional Secretary (East & South Africa), Ministry of External Affairs and Ethiopian delegation was led by H.E Mr. Arega Hailu, Director General of the Asia and Oceania Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.
The heads of the delegation hailed the existing warm and cordial relations between the two countries. They emphasized the significance of the second round of Foreign Office Consultations as another milestone of meaningful and growing cooperation between the two countries. Both side also agreed to infuse the close political relationship with greater economic content.
In his opening statement H.E. Gurjit Singh stated that India-Ethiopia relationship is exemplary relationship and is based on common commitment to economic development and cooperation. During the last few years, the multifaceted cooperation has grown between India and Ethiopia and made remarkable progress in various fields including political cooperation, infrastructure development, agriculture, people to people contact, capacity building and human resource development.
In his opening remark H.E Arega Hailu expressed his gratitude over the bilateral relationship that has flourished over the last few years and expressed thanks to Government of India for providing Lines of Credit of more than US 700 million for sugar development& rural electrification. He also commended India’s contribution for capacity building & human resources development by offering various scholarships.
Both sides held extensive discussions on bilateral issues, multilateral and regional issues of interest to both the sides. Cooperation under the India Africa Forum Summit and Lines of Credit offered by the Government of India for Sugar Project and Ethiopia- Djibouti railway line were also discussed.
Both sides shared information on situation in Horn of Africa and IGAD. Discussions also took place on International fora.
During the discussions, both sides also discussed implementation of decisions taken under India Africa forum Summit I & II including the establishment of four capacity building institutions in Ethiopia at bilateral and regional levels which include Vocational training Centre, IT Centre, Women Solar Engineering Vocational training centre, Farm Science Centre.
It was also agreed to propose that the next Joint Commission meeting will be held in 2013.
H.E Ambassador, Gurjit Singh, paid a courtesy call on H.E Ambassador Berhane Gebre Christos, State minister for Foreign Affairs. Bilateral, Multilateral and regional issues were reviewed and discussed during the meeting.
India and Ethiopia enjoy close and friendly bilateral relations which are diversified and have depth. There is greater understanding in bilateral matters and excellent cooperation in regional and international fora. India-Ethiopia engagement has developed through capacity building programmes, training and sharing of experience and has reached the threshold of high volume of bilateral trade and increased investment by Indian entrepreneurs in Ethiopia.