1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Park Jin, who is visiting Ethiopia from August 8 to 10, held a meeting with Ethiopian Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hassen on August 8 and had a broad exchange of views on bilateral relations, strengthening practical cooperation, and ways to cooperate in the regional and international arenas.
2. While celebrating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the two Ministers shared the view that the bilateral cooperation is strengthening in all fields, including development cooperation, economic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, and expressed their willingness to work together to elevate the bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership.
3. In particular, Minister Park highlighted that it is meaningful to visit Ethiopia, a country which sent ground troops to the Korean War, this year commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice Agreement. He also explained that he would visit the Korean War Memorial with the Korean Ambassadors in Africa, who were gathered in Addis Ababa to participate in the meeting of heads of the Korean missions in Africa. In response, Minister Demeke expressed his appreciation to Minister Park for visiting Ethiopia as the first country to visit on his trip to Africa.
4. The two Ministers recognized that development cooperation in Ethiopia is at the center of the bilateral relations and expressed their willingness to further strengthen development cooperation in areas such as education, health and infrastructure. Furthermore, Minister Park emphasized the need to expand bilateral cooperation in the economic field, including increasing the volume of trade and investment, based on development cooperation, and suggested that the process of signing the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) and the Trade and Investment Promotion Framework (TIPF) be expedited. Minister Demeke also highlighted the importance of strengthening bilateral economic cooperation and expressed his willingness to make efforts to this end.
5. Minister Park said that there are three opportunities to further strengthen Korea-Ethiopia bilateral relations. First, he explained that the Korean government is committed to hosting the 2030 Busan World Expo as a way to strengthen long-term, mutually beneficial cooperation with developing countries, and that Korea’s hosting the Expo will strengthen cooperation between Korea and countries across the African continent. In particular, he noted that Busan has a special significance for both countries as the place where Korean War veterans arrived to participate in the Korean War and requested Ethiopia’s special interest and support for Korea to host the 2030 Busan World Expo.
6. Second, Minister Park explained that the Korean government is planning to hold the 2024 Korea-Africa Summit to enhance cooperation with Africa, and asked his Ethiopian counterpart to play an active role for the success of the summit.
7. Finally, Minister Park emphasized that Korea, while serving as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2024-25 term, will be able to contribute significantly to peace and security in Africa through close cooperation on African issues, which is a key issue on the Security Council’s agenda.
8. In response, Minister Demeke said that he will do his part for the success of the Korea-Africa summit and extended congratulations on Korea’s election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2024-25 term.
9. Meanwhile, Minister Park highlighted the importance of a united response of the international community to the unprecedented scale of missile provocations by North Korea and explained the Korean government’s ‘Audacious Initiative,’ and Minister Demeke said that his country supports the Korean government's efforts. In addition, the two Ministers expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in East Africa, including the situation in Sudan, and shared their willingness to work closely together for the stability of the region.
10. The Korea-Ethiopia Foreign Ministers’ meeting, which was held with this year commemorating the 60th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations and the 70th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice Agreement, served as an opportunity to solidify strategic cooperation with Ethiopia, which sent ground troops to the Korean War and is a gateway to Africa.