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Allowing people to express different political opinions and views is good - Angela Merkel

Ethiopia was able to improve the living standards of its citizens as a result of the activities it had carried out to get out of poverty in the past years, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.


Merkel, who is at a two-day official visit to Ethiopia, held talks today with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn at the National Palace. 

The two sides discussed on a range of issues including; peace and security in the region; migration and refugees;  natural resource conservation and development; democracy and good governance and trade and investment as well as current situations in Ethiopia.

In a joint statement they issued after the discussions, the German Chancellor said Ethiopian managed to lift several people out of poverty and offer educational opportunities for numerous youth in the past.

However, the government is required to work hard to meet the growing demand of the youth for job opportunities, she said, adding Germany will continue supporting Ethiopia’s efforts to respond for the economic questions of the youth.

Merkel further said her government will work to increase the number of German investors in Ethiopia and to organize investors’ experience sharing forums.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on his part said the Chancellor's visit to Ethiopia marks the beginning of a new chapter in the longstanding bilateral relation and development cooperation between Ethiopia and Germany.

He said the visit reaffirms the two sides' commitment to lift the bilateral cooperation into a new high, adding that Ethiopia and Germany have had excellent cooperation in human resources development, particularly in areas of water, engineering and education, which has significantly assisted farmers in Ethiopia.

Asked about current situations in Ethiopia, the Premier said the government is now undertaking series of relevant reforms with the full measure of addressing public demands. One of such reforms he said was the government's commitment to reform the country's electoral laws, which will be implemented following dialogues with opposition parties.

He added various democratic platforms will also be in place to maximize the full participation of all stakeholders and guarantee accountability and transparency.

Responding to whether security forces have used excessive force in a bid to contain the current protest and violence, Prime Minister Hailemariam said an investigation is underway by the Ethiopian Human rights commission. In this connection, he said, "We launched this investigation not to please the international community; but we are responsible to our citizens.

Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold discussions with various high level government officials.

Source: Fana BC

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