France and Ethiopia sign defense agreement

Florence Parly, French Minister of Defense, accompanied Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, to Djibouti and Ethiopia, on March 11 and 12, 2019, to consolidate or create bilateral defense cooperation.

France and Ethiopia sign defense agreement
French president Emmanuel Macron arrives in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, on March 12, 2019 (Picture source: Addis Standard)

Along with the President of the French Republic, the Minister of Defense went to Ethiopia. This visit marks a historic turning point in the two countries' defense relations. On this occasion, Florence Parly met with her Ethiopian counterpart, Aisha Mohammed, to strengthen military cooperation.

An intergovernmental agreement was signed by the two defense ministers. In particular, it devotes support from France to the preparation for peacekeeping operations in which Ethiopia is very committed, particularly in Somalia. In concrete terms, this agreement provides for French forces stationed in Djibouti to travel to Ethiopia to conduct joint training and exercises. A letter of intent was also signed for the establishment of an Ethiopian naval component with the support of France.

This trip was an opportunity for the Minister of Defense to meet the French detachment stationed in Addis Abeba, the Ethiopian capital. Florence Parly praised their commitment and reminded them of the importance of their mission to a key partner for France in East Africa.

Earlier, in Djibouti, the French minister had met with her counterpart, Ali Hassan Bahdon, to consolidate the cooperation that has been binding on the two armies for more than 40 years. With the presidential delegation, the Minister of Defense then went to the French air base to meet the French forces. Prepositioned at the tip of the horn of Africa, these constitute the pivot of the French military deployment in the region and its capacity of reaction in this zone.