Ethiopia, France Keen on Strengthen Parliamentary Relations

Addis Ababa: Ethiopia and France have agreed to further strengthen the parliamentary relations between the two countries and cooperate in various areas of common interest. Chairman of Standing Committee of Foreign Relations and Peace Affairs at the House of Peoples' Representatives, Dima Nego received French delegation led by Chairman of National Assembly's Committee of National Defence and Armed Forces, Thomas Gassiloud. During the occasion, Dima Nego briefed the delegation about current situation in Ethiopia and various reform programs launched to improve the economy of the country and ensure peace and security. He also briefed about the MoU Ethiopia recently signed with Somaliland, which ensures joint development. Since 1993, Ethiopia has become a landlocked country, and access to the Red Sea is crucial for Ethiopia's long-term national and economic security, he said, adding that there is no landlocked country like Ethiopia in the world with such big population. As it lies in geostrategic location, Et hiopia is a pivotal to the region with large population, long history and contributing to peace and security of neighboring countries, he added. Despite the significance of the MOU for shared interests, some are disseminating distorted information and needs to be rectified, he said. The security in the Red Sea requires Ethiopia's contribution and called on the French government to help Ethiopia in its effort for sea outlet. Regarding bilateral relations with France, the ties between the two countries are excellent, he said, adding that the parliamentary relation is important to further enhance the exiting relations and openly discuss various issues of common interest. He further said the relationships between the two countries open good opportunity to strengthen people to people relations. Members of the standing committee also stated that Ethiopia needs sea access only through peaceful means and give and take approach. We are keen to strengthen ties with French parliament, they said. Chairman of the N ational Assembly's Committee on National Defence and Armed Forces, Thomas Gassiloud on his part said that France is ready to work with Ethiopia in social and economic and other fields. He expressed that his delegation understands the situation that Ethiopia has gone through in the past due to drought and conflict. We are ready to work with Ethiopia in the various sector including military, he said. The relationship between the two countries has marked 125 years and they enjoyed excellent relations. Source: Ethiopian News Agency