China expressed its support to the peace process in Ethiopia on Thursday, saying it stands ready to enhance bilateral cooperation to facilitate postwar reconstruction and development in the Horn of Africa country.
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang made the remarks when meeting with Ethiopia's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, who is on an official visit to China from Wednesday to Sunday.
The two ministers last met during Qin's visit to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, as part of his first African tour in January since he became China's foreign minister.
Qin said Beijing would like to strengthen coordination with Addis Ababa to implement the China-proposed Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa, supporting countries in the region to seek strength through unity and achieve prosperity and stability.
Ethiopia has seen a devastating conflict between government-allied troops and forces loyal to the Tigray People's Liberation Front since November 2020.
In November, the Ethiopian government and the TPLF agreed to end the two-year brutal war in northern Ethiopia under African Union-led mediation efforts in South Africa.
Ethiopia is at a crucial period to consolidate peace and focus on development, Qin said.
China has delivered two batches of emergency food supplies to countries in the Horn of Africa, and is considering providing a new batch of supplies to meet their pressing needs, he said.
Qin also expressed gratitude to the Ethiopian government for providing support and assistance to China in evacuating Chinese nationals from Sudan after conflict broke out on April 15, and in rescuing Chinese nationals robbed and detained in Ethiopia.
China hopes the Ethiopian government would take concrete and effective measures to protect the safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese institutions and personnel in the country, he said.
Calling Africa a priority in China's diplomacy, Qin called on the two sides to continue to work together to strengthen solidarity, friendship and seek common development.
Cooperation with China has brought tangible benefits to people from both countries and set a good example of South-South cooperation, said Mekonnen, adding that Ethiopia is willing to make plans for bilateral cooperation in the future.
He also said Ethiopia attaches great importance to improving its domestic security situation and will continue to do its utmost to ensure the safety of Chinese institutions and personnel in his country.