March 06, 2013 | allAfrica.com
Saudi Arabia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Saud Al-Faisal, has said relations between Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia are at an excellent level. In a press statement released by the Saudi's Foreign Ministry on March 4, the Foreign Minister "confirmed the deep-rooted and long standing relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Ethiopia".
He said: "The first Hijra (migration) in Islam was to Abyssinia, and the ties between the people of the two countries have had a long standing and prestigious history". The Foreign Minister noted that there is a growing "development of relations with Abyssinia, which culminated right now to reach an excellent level of cooperation in various fields", including the significant widening of trade between the two countries and growing investment relations. Last week, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Finance, Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf, visited Addis Ababa for talks with Prime Minister Hailemariam and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Ato Sufian Ahmed, and signed an agreement on double taxation.
Prince Saud Al-Faisal also noted that Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Ethiopia were working closely to calm the situation in the Horn of Africa, and the two countries recently signed an agreement to cooperate on a whole range of issues. A recent statement by Saudi Arabia's Deputy Minister of Defense in Cairo that Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam had the potential to affect downstream countries adversely, led the government to ask for an explanation from the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Addis Ababa. The Ambassador expressed his belief that the comments of the Deputy Minister would not be the views of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.