ADDIS ABABA – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has arrived in Addis Ababa for a working visit to Ethiopia as part of his African tour aimed at strengthening Moscow’s ties with a continent.
Lavrov was welcomed by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen and other high-level government officials upon his arrival at Bole International Airport on Tuesday afternoon.
During his stay, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said Lavrov is due to consult with high-ranking government officials on matters that will strengthen the ties between the two countries.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke paid a visit to Russia in 2021 to discuss collaboration and strengthen relationships.
Similarly, Lavrov visited Addis Abeba in 2018 and signed agreements to boost relations between Ethiopia and Russia. Officials of the two countries are expected to review the status of the agreements, according to Mofa’s statement issued last week.
Lavrov has already visited Egypt, Congo, and Uganda before coming to Ethiopia, where African Union (AU) diplomats reportedly said he had invited ambassadors from several member states to a meeting on Wednesday.
Africa is also being courted by the West this week, with French President Emmanuel Macron due to visit Cameroon, Benin, and Guinea-Bissau and US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Mike Hammer on his way to Egypt and Ethiopia.
An invitation letter from the Russian ambassador to Ethiopia and the AU, sent to a number of African ambassadors and seen by Reuters news agency, said the goal of the meeting was to deepen cooperation between Russia and African states.
Two AU diplomats who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity said the planned meeting, which would coincide with Hammer’s visit, was causing friction among Western donors because it signaled a pivot towards Russia.
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