FOREIGN MINISTER MEKONNEN: To start off, Secretary of State, we are happy to receive you here in Addis Ababa today. It’s our honor and a privilege to have such a meeting with this prestigious delegation. I hope you have a (inaudible). Thank you for coming, as it is a historic moment to strengthen and deepen our bilateral relations between our countries. We have longstanding relations and it is time to revitalize them – revitalize and move forward (inaudible).
So, Excellency, welcome to Addis Ababa. Thank you for coming (inaudible).
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Foreign Minister, thank you so much for receiving us here today. It’s very, very good to be back in Africa and especially to be in Ethiopia at, I think, a very important moment – a moment of hope given the peace in the north that is taking hold and that continues to move forward. I look forward to talking about that with you, with the prime minister, and the work we’re doing together in a number of other areas – and as you said, with all those strengthening even more the relationship between the United States and Ethiopia.
There’s a lot to be done, but the most important thing is to continue to deepen the peace that is now taking hold in the north and to strengthen our ties as we move along. But thank you for the very warm welcome. Thank you for the excellent cup of coffee to start the day. (Laughter.) It’s a very good way to begin our conversations. Thank you.
Official news published at https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-and-ethiopian-deputy-prime-minister-and-foreign-minister-demeke-mekonnen-before-their-meeting/