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President Barroso announces extra € 30 million for maternal health in Ethiopia


President José Manuel Barroso on Thursday welcomed Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn to Brussels. The Prime Minister had chosen the EU for his first official visit. The President took the opportunity to announce the allocation of an additional 30 million euros for maternal health in Ethiopia.

During the bilateral talks between President Barroso and Prime Dessalegn, the political and economic relations between the EU and Ethiopia were discussed, as well as regional security challenges.

President Barroso noted that the EU's relationship with Ethiopia is today a more mature relationship, underlining "it's not just of course development assistance, it's much more than that. It's also political cooperation, it's also what we can do together to tackle some common challenges".

The European Union and Ethiopia have substantial and diversified economic and trade relations. Europe is the destination for over 40 % of Ethiopia's exports, making the EU the most important trade partner for Ethiopia.

President Barroso underlined that the EU is "ready to support the [Ethiopian] Government in its long-term vision leading to growth and increased investment". He said the European Union "fully supports Ethiopia's efforts to join the World Trade Organisation".

The President also congratulated Ethiopia on the country's progress in poverty reduction and Millennium Development Goals achievements, and he announced further development cooperation with Ethiopia.

"We look forward to continuing this good cooperation throughout the next 11th European Development Fund, which will apply as of next year, with an even stronger focus on health issues. It is my pleasure to announce today that the European Union has already now agreed to an additional allocation of € 30 million for maternal health", he said.

Furthermore, the President also commended the Prime Minister on Ethiopia's important and positive role on a number of regional issues and crisis situations in the Horn of Africa and beyond.

"As chair of the African Union, Ethiopia will represent Africa at the G20 summit and during the climate negotiations, key issues for the European Union where we share a strong agenda with our African partners", the President said.

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