President Yoweri Museveni and the First Lady Hon. Janet Museveni, Thursday evening hosted the visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, his wife Roman Tesfaye Abney and their delegation to a State Dinner at State House, Entebbe.
In his remarks during the dinner, President Museveni hailed the existing bilateral relationship between Uganda and Ethiopia and described the two countries’ relationship as “excellent.”
The president said that the visit of the Ethiopian Prime Minister to Uganda was simply to rekindle the long-cherished brotherhood between the two countries.
He also noted that PM Desalegn’s visit, which coincided with the period the Ethiopian people defeated Italian imperialists March 2nd 1898, reminded him of the great heroism of the Ethiopian people who defended themselves against imperialism leaving Ethiopia as the only non-colonised country in Africa by 1900.
The President reiterated that he and the Government of Uganda will honour and implement the different commitments made to the Ethiopian government on regional security, the use of River Nile waters, trade and investment and infrastructural development.
On his part, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, commended President Museveni for his exemplary leadership in Uganda and the region at large, adding that he has largely contributed to the region’s stability.
“We treasure your leadership as a region, said Mr Desalegn. “You have made a great contribution to regional stability. You have fought dictatorship of politics and poverty in Uganda and the region and the cooperation between our two countries is important to pacify our region and make it peaceful and stable.”
Mr Desalegn added: “I equally want to salute you and the Ugandan people for following us and supporting us in fighting the Al-Shabaab terrorists in Somalia and for AMISOM for having stood out as the most successful peace keeping mission in Africa. That justifies that there are African solutions to African problems.”
He reiterated his commitment as the current Chairman of the regional grouping of Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to ensure that there is peace in South Sudan.
Mr Desalegn also noted that the region needs peace and security to trade, develop and integrate. He reaffirmed his country’s commitment to full implementation of the Northern Corridor Development projects.
The IGAD member countries include Djibouti, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya.