Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has confirmed his attendance at the upcoming second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held in Beijing next month, Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia Tan Jian revealed on Friday.

Nebiat Getachew, spokesperson of the Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), told Xinhua recently that Ethiopia and China already enjoy multifaceted ties, which are expected to be further strengthened at the upcoming forum.

“Ethiopia is a strong partner of China in the African continent. Ethiopia’s expected attendance at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is a further testament to the strong bilateral ties,” said Getachew.

The East African country, which has been cooperating with China on the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also recently expressed its keen interest to work with more vigor to implement agreements inked between Ethiopia and China.

Ethiopia’s new Ambassador to China Teshome Toga Chanaka vowed last month to work in priority areas of mutual interest, including the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the China-proposed BRI.

“Ethiopia is more committed than ever to fully apply and accomplish the agreements it has made with China mainly through the Ethiopia-China comprehensive strategic partnership platform, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, and the Belt and Road Initiative,” MoFA quoted Toga as saying last month.

On May 14-15, 2017, the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held in Beijing, attended by state and government leaders of 29 countries.

More than 1,600 participants from over 140 countries and 80 international organisations also attended the forum.

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