Minister Dion visits Ethiopia and underscores support for engagement of all Ethiopians in an inclusive democratic process
The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, yesterday visited Addis Ababa to build on Canada’s relationship with Ethiopia, an important partner in the region. Ethiopia is the final stop of the Minister’s visit to Africa, which also included Nigeria and Kenya.
During his visit, the Minister reiterated his concerns over the deaths and violence arising from the recent unrest, particularly in the Oromia and Amhara regions, and underscored his support for all Ethiopians to engage in a peaceful and inclusive dialogue.
Minister Dion had a meeting with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, in which they discussed the current state of emergency and the critical importance of undertaking timely and meaningful reforms for the benefit of all Ethiopians—particularly its youth—in support of the country’s growth and prosperity.
The Minister also participated in an in-depth exchange with civil society representatives, highlighting the need for democratic space, pluralism and respect of fundamental freedoms for any political dialogue to be successful. Minister Dion carried those messages into his meetings with the Ethiopian government.
Minister Dion’s first visit to sub-Saharan Africa is an opportunity to highlight the importance Canada assigns to the region, focusing on peace and stability, security and the rule of law. The visit also underlines Canada’s commitment to promote inclusive and sustainable growth in Africa, which notably draws on the potential of the continent’s women and youth. The dynamism at play today across the continent is calling out for Canadian engagement and support for African governments as they channel that dynamism for the benefit of their people.