Statement after meeting with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Abiy Ahmed

Statement by Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the press meeting after meeting with Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Prime Minister of Etiopia, Mr. Abiy Ahmed.

Check against delivery

Good morning,

I would once again like to congratulate Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on winning the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, and commend him for his efforts to promote peace and international cooperation.

We have had a productive meeting, and have exchanged views on the situation in the Horn of Africa, the reform process in Ethiopia and cooperation between Ethiopia and Norway.

When Prime Minister Abiy reached out to President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea, he took a vital first step. Their conversations led to the signing of the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship, which gives hope for future cooperation between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The Joint Declaration is also a significant step towards the full normalisation of relations and towards furthering development, to the benefit of the peoples of both countries and of the Horn of Africa as a whole.

Prime Minister Abiy has worked tirelessly to strengthen democracy, human rights, the rule of law and gender equality in Ethiopia.

Both our countries are firm believers in these values. Norway welcomes Ethiopia’s important reforms, and would like to be a constructive partner during this period of transformation.

Shortly after becoming prime minister, Prime Minister Abiy declared his intention to hold free, fair and credible elections in 2020. I would like to commend him and his Government for making this commitment.

Peace and stability are prerequisites for development. Both Ethiopia and Norway are working diligently to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We enjoy a strong bilateral relationship, based on a longstanding friendship and extensive development cooperation. I am proud to say that Norway will continue to be a close partner of Ethiopia. We will continue to support key sectors such as education, climate and forestry. In our partnership, we will also focus on cross-cutting issues, such as democratic and economic reforms to promote peace, justice, human rights, strong institutions and job creation.

Ethiopia and Norway share the understanding that a rules-based multilateral order is essential if we are to solve the challenges of our time.

Prime Minister Abiy and I also share the view that peace in the Horn of Africa is not only vital for the people of the region, but also for achieving peace and stability on the African continent as a whole.

Thank you.