Jerusalem, January 8, 2004

Visit to Ethiopia by Foreign Minister Shalom
(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

 Visit to Ethiopia by Foreign Minister Shalom-Jan 8- 2004

 Visit to Ethiopia by Foreign Minister Shalom-Jan 8- 2004

FM Silvan Shalom meets with
Ethiopian FM Seyoum Mesfin
(Jan 7, 2004)

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom met yesterday (January 7) in Addis Ababa with his Ethiopian counterpart, Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin.

Foreign Minister Shalom said in this, the first visit by an Israeli foreign minister since the historic visit 40 years ago of Foreign Minister Golda Meir, it is very important to deepen our relations with the wonderful African continent. Minister Shalom noted the special relationship between the Israeli and Ethiopian peoples. In addition to the historic ties, there is today in Israel an Ethiopian community numbering 84,000, which serves as a human bridge between the two peoples.

Foreign Minister Shalom was accompanied by a delegation of 30 businessmen from leading Israeli firms in the fields of agriculture, telecommunications, infrastructure and construction. A joint economic seminar was held, in which Ethiopian government officials participated alongside the Israeli delegation.

Foreign Minister Shalom expressed his appreciation of the Ethiopian vote in the United Nations against transfering the issue of the security fence to the International Court in The Hague. In the name of the government of Israel, Shalom donated medical resuscitation equipment to the Addis Ababa Black Lion Hospital’s emergency unit.

Ethiopian Foreign Minister Mesfin agreed that ties between the two countries should be strengthened, and that the visit by Foreign Minister Shalom contributed significantly to this. He added that the Ethiopian government is interested in deepening economic cooperation with Israel above and beyond the strong historic link.