President Zuma congratulates new Ethiopian Prime Minister

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has congratulated the newly sworn in Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Desalegn, who was sworn in on Thursday, has served as the acting Prime Minister since Meles Zenawi's death in August 2012.

"I believe that Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will follow in the footsteps of his friend and mentor, former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, in continuing with the national policies of Ethiopia to enhance the development of the country.

"I also believe that he will continue Ethiopia's leadership role in Africa to support Nepad and the various peace processes on the continent, especially the one between Sudan and South Sudan," said President Jacob Zuma.

The new prime minister was elected on 15 September 2012 by the Council of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) as its new leader.

"South Africa is convinced that its strong and cordial historical relations with Ethiopia will be further strengthened and expanded under the leadership of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn," International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson Clayson Monyela said.

In April, a Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) between South Africa and Ethiopia in Addis Ababa, an Implementation Plan was signed by South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and the then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, which provides for the enhancement of the implementation of existing co-operation agreements between the two countries.

President Zuma attended the funeral of the late Prime Minister Zenawi, on 2 September 2012 in Addis Ababa.

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