Moon takes a strong personal interest in promoting relations, cooperation, friendship with Ethiopia
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Moon takes a strong personal interest in promoting relations, cooperation, friendship with Ethiopia
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.08.21 10:24
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Including G-20 efforts to fight against COVID-19

By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik

President Moon Jae-in takes a strong personal interest in the promotion of relations, cooperation and friendship with Ethiopia who was the only African country to send combat troops to shed blood-fighting on the side of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and United Nations Forces led by the United States Army during the Korean War (1950-3).

On March 30, 2020, President Moon Jae-in pledged efforts to induce international support for Africa in fighting the coronavirus pandemic during his telephone conversation Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia.

In a 17-minute conversation, Prime Minister Abiy pointed out that responding to COVID-19 has emerged as one of the biggest problems in Africa and the continent needs to learn from the ROK’s experience, the Presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.
 

President Moon Jae-in (second from right) speaks with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia (second from left) at a Korea-Ethiopia summit meeting at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Aug. 26, 2019
President Moon Jae-in (second from right) speaks with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia (third from left) at a Korea-Ethiopia summit meeting at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Aug. 26, 2019

"Ethiopia is suffering huge damages in its economy due to COVID-19," the prime minister, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was quoted as saying by Spokesman Kang Min-seok at the Presidential Mansion of Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul.

During the talks, Prime Minister Abiy told President Moon that he was "proud" of the "brother-like President's coronavirus response," saying Africa is in need of "your experience and global leadership," Kang added.

 

Ambassador Shigutie of Ethiopia speaks to the guests.
Ambassador Shigutie of Ethiopia speaks to the guests.

President Moon extended his gratitude to the Ethiopian government for its cooperation in bringing South Korean troops back home from South Sudan on the nation's chartered flight after their U.N. peacekeeping mission.

Moon requested the prime minister's help, if necessary, for South Korean nationals in Africa seeking to fly to their homeland, noting that Ethiopia is a continental aviation hub.

Prime Minister Abiy said his government would provide South Korea with such help at any time.

Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik
Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik

According to the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Seoul, Ethiopia is the only African country that dispatched ground troops during the Korean War. Based on these historical experiences, the Republic of Korea and Ethiopia have maintained a strong sense of unity and a close cooperative relationship in various fields of politics, trade, economic affairs, and international relations on the ground of mutual trust and friendship since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1963.

Ethiopia, the cradle of mankind where the first human fossil named ‘Lucy’ was discovered, is a very attractive country with beautiful and spectacular nature and scenery in the southern part of the country as well as a brilliant culture that had been built from the ancient time in the north. In addition, Ethiopia has a proud history of the one and only African country without having never been colonized and currently produces of the most aromatic coffee in the world.

 

Ambassador Shigutie of Ethiopia (sixth from left, front row) cuts a celebration cake with guests. At far right is Head Priest Park of the Cheonman-sa Buddhist Temple in Ulsan.
Ambassador Shigutie of Ethiopia (sixth from left, front row) cuts a celebration cake with guests. At far right is Head Priest Park of the Cheonman-sa Buddhist Temple in Ulsan.

Although Ethiopia is still one of the developing countries, she is also the most promising developing country in the world. As the seat of various international organizations including the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN ECA), Ethiopia serves as the political and diplomatic capital of the African continent.

 

Ambassador Shigutie of Ethiopia (seventh from left, front row) poses for the camera with guests. Head Priest Park of the Cheonman-sa Buddhist Temple in Ulsan is seen second from right, front row.
Ambassador Shigutie of Ethiopia (seventh from left, front row) poses for the camera with guests. Head Priest Park of the Cheonman-sa Buddhist Temple in Ulsan is seen second from right, front row.

In addition, the national population reaching 105 million as the second-most populous country in the African continent shows high growth potential for the future.

For the last 10 years, Ethiopia’s annual GDP growth rate has recorded over 10% and the government establishes a goal to become a middle-income bracket country by 2025.

Ethiopia has set the ROK as a role model of its economic development and actively requests for Korean companies to enter to its domestic economy, so the cooperative relationship between the two countries is expected to be further strengthened.

Korea, according to the MOFAT in Seoul, will continue to strengthen a partnership between the ROK and Ethiopia, which shares the views on important agenda such as global security and peace in the Korean peninsula.

 

Ambassador Director General Hong Jin-wook of the Middle Eastern Affairs of the Foreign Ministry makes a congratulatory speech.
Ambassador Director General Hong Jin-wook of the Middle Eastern Affairs of the Foreign Ministry makes a congratulatory speech.

MOFAT officers that it will advance the current relationship between two countries in the field of economy and development cooperation as well as expand its cooperation towards a new field of people-to-people and culture exchange

Ethiopia, according to Wikipedia, shares borders with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south, South Sudan to the west, and Sudan to the northwest. With over 109 million inhabitants as of 2019, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world and the second-most populous nation on the African continent (after Nigeria).

Ethiopia has a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometers (420,000 sq mi). Its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa, which lies a few miles west of the East African Rift that splits the country into the African and Somali tectonic plates. Ethiopian national identity is grounded in the historic and contemporary roles of Christianity and Islam, and the independence of Ethiopia from foreign rule, stemming from the various ancient Ethiopian kingdoms of antiquity.

 

Deputy Speaker Lee Ju-young of the National Assembly makes a congratulatory speech.
Deputy Speaker Lee Ju-young of the National Assembly makes a congratulatory speech.

Some of the oldest skeletal evidence for anatomically modern humans has been found in Ethiopia. It is widely considered as the region from which modern humans first set out for the Middle East and places beyond.

According to linguists, the first Afroasiatic-speaking populations settled in the Horn region during the ensuing Neolithic era. Tracing its roots to the 2nd millennium BC, Ethiopia's governmental system was a monarchy for most of its history. Oral literature tells that the monarchy was founded by the Solomonic dynasty of the Queen of Sheba, under its first king, Menelik I.

In the first centuries, the Kingdom of Aksum maintained a unified civilization in the region, followed by the Ethiopian Empire c. 1137.

 

Ambassador Sylvestre Kouassi Bile of Cote d’Ivoire makes a congratulatory speech on behalf of African ambassadors.
Ambassador Sylvestre Kouassi Bile of Cote d’Ivoire makes a congratulatory speech on behalf of African ambassadors.

During the late-19th-century Scramble for Africa, Ethiopia and Liberia were the only two nations that preserved their sovereignty from long-term colonization by a European colonial power, and many newly independent nations on the continent subsequently adopted its flag colors.

 

Mr. Kim Sang-jin, Honorary Consul of Ethiopia at Busan makes a congratulatory speech.
Mr. Kim Sang-jin, Honorary Consul of Ethiopia at Busan makes a congratulatory speech.

Ethiopia was also the first independent African member of the 20th-century League of Nations and the United Nations.

Ethiopia and Eritrea use the ancient Ge'ez script, which is one of the oldest alphabets still in use in the world. They follow the Ethiopian calendar, which is approximately seven years and three months behind the Gregorian calendar.

A majority of the population adheres to Christianity (mainly the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and P'ent'ay), and the historical Kingdom of Aksum was one of the first states to officially adopt the religion, whereas around a third follows Islam (primarily Sunni).

 

This memorial hall commemorates the Ethiopian contribution in the UN-forces during the Korean War. Ethiopian troops fought alongside the U.S. Army’s 32nd Infantry Regiment. During the war, 122 Ethiopian troops died and 526 were wounded in action.
This memorial hall commemorates the Ethiopian contribution in the UN-forces during the Korean War. Ethiopian troops fought alongside the U.S. Army’s 32nd Infantry Regiment. During the war, 122 Ethiopian troops died and 526 were wounded in action.

Ethiopia is the site of the Islamic Migration to Abyssinia and the oldest Muslim settlement in Africa, at Negash. A substantial population of Ethiopian Jews, known as Bete Israel, also resided in Ethiopia until the 1980s. Ethiopia is a multilingual nation, with around 80 ethnolinguistic groups, the four largest of which are the Oromo, Amhara, Somali and Tigrayans. Most people in the country speak Afroasiatic languages of the Cushitic or Semitic branches. Additionally, Omotic languages are spoken by ethnic minority groups inhabiting the southern regions. Nilo-Saharan languages are also spoken by the nation's Nilotic ethnic minorities. Oromo is the most populous language by native speakers, while Amharic is the most populous by number of total speakers and serves as the working language in the federal government. Ge'ez remains important as a liturgical language for both the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church and for the Beta Israel.

 

In this photo taken at the Korean War memorial park in Ethiopia on May 27, 2016, a Korean soldier shakes hands with an Ethiopian veteran who fought in the Korean War in the early 1950s.
In this photo taken at the Korean War memorial park in Ethiopia on May 27, 2016, a Korean soldier shakes hands with an Ethiopian veteran who fought in the Korean War in the early 1950s.

Ethiopia is a land of natural contrasts, with its vast fertile west, its forests and its numerous rivers, and the world's hottest settlement of Dallol in its north. The Ethiopian Highlands are the largest continuous mountain ranges in Africa, and the Sof Omar Caves contain the largest cave on the continent.

Ethiopia also has the second-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa. Additionally, the sovereign state is a founding member of the UN, the Group of 24 (G-24), the Non-Aligned Movement, the G77 and the Organization of African Unity.

Its capital city, Addis Ababa, serves as the headquarters of the African Union, the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Standby Force and many of the global NGOs focused on Africa.


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