Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia Ai Ping has expressed that the bilateral relations between China and Ethiopia have entered a new stage highlighted by deepening cooperation, while such relationship is exhibiting more maturity and stability.
In a recent interview with Xinhua, the ambassador said the last decade has ushered in a new stage of the all-round development of the bilateral relations between China and Ethiopia, especially since the exchange of visits between the former Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
He said ever after the dawn of the new millennium, bilateral ties have, with joint efforts of both sides, registered new progress, among others, in the political, economic and cultural fields.
"The political ties between our two countries have been installed on a firmer foundation, the economic and trade cooperation has been consolidated with ever-enriching forms and contents, and the cooperation in other fields has been booming as well," said the ambassador.
It is stated in the Foreign Affairs and National Security Policy and Strategy of the Federal Democratic of Ethiopia that "currently China has very good relations with Ethiopia," and "we should give special attention to the strengthening of relations with China."
The ambassador said "I appreciate this objective evaluation on the Sino-Ethiopian relations. It also demonstrates that the Ethiopian side has attached much attention to it."
He said exchanges of high-level visits have maintained momentum, and bilateral political relationship has become closer. The two sides have kept close consultations on a series of prominent international issues and cooperated closely, echoing of and backing up each other, in a bid to safeguard the common principles and stands.
"Here I would like to point out that Ethiopia will, in collaboration with the Chinese side, host the 2nd Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in December," he added.
This is the first time for the Ministerial Conference of the forum to be held on the African continent.
At present, both sides are cooperating closely and all preparatory work is in full swing, said the ambassador, adding "it is my firm conviction that the conference, through our close cooperation and active participation of other African countries, will come to a great success and become the milestone in Sino-African relationship."
(Xinhua News Agency December 11, 2003)