Ethiopia and Qatar resume relations

Ethiopia and Qatar resumed diplomatic and economic ties after the prime ministers of both countries met at Ethiopia's presidential palace in Addis Ababa early November.

The new relationship, described by Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn as "based on mutual trust as well as a good heart", ends a four-year row over claims that Qatar was supporting armed rebel groups in the Horn of Africa region.

The two countries fell out in 2008 after Ethiopia's late prime minister Meles Zenawi claimed that Qatar was destabilising the Horn of Africa by backing militants at work in the region, including in Eritrea. An historic enemy of Addis Ababa, Eritrea broke away from Ethiopia in 1993 leading to a subsequent border-war from 1998-2000 which resulted in 70,000 casualties.

Meles' successor Hailemariam told reporters that Ethiopia and Qatar would work together to boost economic ties such as allowing Qatari investors into Ethiopia, and would "work very closely" with Qatar to promote peace and security in the region. Qatar's prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani said described security in the Horn of Africa as "a priority for development".

A series of economic and diplomatic bilateral agreements was signed by the ministers of finance and foreign affairs on the occasion.