France's Macron backs Ethiopia leader's sweeping reforms

2018-10-30 13:11
French president Emmanuel Macron (R) shakes hands with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed at the end of a press conference following their meeting, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris. (AFP)

French president Emmanuel Macron (R) shakes hands with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed at the end of a press conference following their meeting, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris. (AFP)

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French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed his support for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's ambitious reforms and diplomatic peace efforts.

The young, reformist African leader was on a working visit on Monday to France in his first trip to Europe since taking office in April.

In a joint declaration, France welcomed "the rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea". Both countries pledged to "continue their efforts in order to promote peace and prosperity in the region".

Within a few months, Abiy has implemented sweeping economic and political reforms, among them making peace with longtime rival Eritrea, which has set off a series of diplomatic thaws in Africa's turbulent Horn of Africa region.

Macron and Abiy also pledged to increase cultural cooperation, especially on World Heritage sites such as the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela.

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Read more on:    abiy ahmed  |  france  |  ethiopia  |  east africa

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