ADDIS ABABA – King Felipe VI of Spain arrived on Friday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to attend the 24th Summit of the African Union accompanied by the Spanish Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism Jose Manuel Soria.
On the day of his 47th birthday, his first as the reigning monarch of Spain, Felipe VI arrived early on Friday morning at Addis Ababa airport and was received by the Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom and Spain’s ambassador in Ethiopia, Miguel Fernandez-Palacios.
King Felipe first visited the Spanish embassy in the capital, later heading to the African Union headquarters to attend the summit’s opening session, which will see the presence of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who will also hold his first bilateral meeting with Felipe VI.
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz holds the presidency of the current session of the AU, an international organization comprised by 54 countries that will need to make key decisions on peace and security issues, in addition to social and economic matters affecting the African continent.
The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, has invited the King of Spain to deliver a speech before the African leaders during the summit’s commemorative dinner, a gesture very much appreciated by the Spanish institution.
King Felipe’s visit to Ethiopia will last for about 15 hours, during which he will hold bilateral meetings as well as attend the AU summit’s opening session.
The Spanish king will also be meeting with around 150 representatives of the Spanish community in Ethiopia, and hold talks with the Ethiopian Prime Minister before delivering his dinner speech, after which he will return to Madrid.
This visit reflects Madrid’s commitment to Africa, which was reiterated by the Spanish monarch in a statement in which he said that Africa primarily represents shared opportunities for Spain.
The statement added that Spain’s commitment towards the African continent includes facing the “challenges” of peace and security, contributing to the advancement of democracy and human rights and promoting economic partnerships that contribute to the prosperity of African citizens.
Source: Latin American Herald Tribune