Conte Bears Peace, Dev’t

Italy`s leftist leader, Giuseppe Conte, was received in Addis Abeba last week by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) and his senior ministers at the start of Conte`s two-day visit here and a stopover in Asmera on his way back home. Regional stability, investment opportunities and putting a hold on migration were high on the agenda.

Migration from African countries has been of particular political sensitivity in Italy, leading to rhetoric and policies that have created disagreements within the European Union (EU). The government of Italy signed loan and grant agreements to the tune of almost 700 million Br for infrastructure projects in Ethiopia. Nearly three-quarters of the deals are in the form of loans.

The Italian Prime Minister departed from Addis Abeba on Friday and left for Eritrea, its northern neighbour. A rapprochement was reached between the two nations with historical ties with Italy, and diplomatic relations were re-established recently. Conte, who described Ethiopia as a “pillar of stability”, said that Italy wants to support the normalisation process as well as stability in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea, for its part, has undertaken improving relations with Djibouti and Somalia.

Italy was the first country to start a diplomatic relationship with Ethiopia, although Ethio-Italy relations in the late 19th Century and the first half of the 20th Century were fraught with conflict.

Published on Oct 13,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 963]



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