By RFIPalled on 12-03-2019Modified on 12-03-2019 at 22:58

After being seen in Paris in October, Emmanuel Macron and Abiy Ahmed, the young Ethiopian leader, posted on Tuesday 12 March their good agreement during the first bilateral visit of a French head of state since 1973. The two countries have signed a defense agreement and will cooperate in the cultural and economic field.

With our special correspondent in Addis Ababa, Anthony Lattier

During the entire press conference, they competed kindly with each other. When a journalist comes to titillate Abiy Ahmed on the unflattering position of Ethiopia in some international rankings, it is Emmanuel Macron who takes his defense.

" I see reconciliation with neighbors, unparalleled efforts to reconcile different communities, go beyond the tensions of the country, fight against all forms of imbalances. When there is tension in a country, when there are geopolitical threats, when there is conflict with the neighbors, it is difficult to be at the best of clues when we look at the justice systems or the systems. global democratic societies. You have a Prime Minister who, a few months ago, took on responsibilities. On a forced march, he is modernizing the country, doing everything to reconcile it and building peace in the region. These efforts are not measured by an index that often looks back. But you do not have a prime minister who has been there for decades. Give him time to continue on this good path and succeed, "pleads the French president.

In power for less than a year, Abiy Ahmed made peace with Eritrea, appointed a joint government and promised to liberalize its economy. An ideal profile for the French president who seeks him to turn to the most dynamic African countries.

Symbol of this new confidence between the two countries, a new defense agreement has been signed. France will help develop the Ethiopian Navy. Paris also releases 850 million euros in loans to support the opening of the economy. Finally, France will participate in the restoration of part of the country's heritage , including that of the troglodyte churches of Lalibela that Emmanuel Macron went to visit on arrival.

PM Abiy Ahmed & President Emmanuel Macron visited the Rock-Hewn churches of Lalibela this afternoon. It is to be remembered that PM Abiy Ahmed secured a support pledge from the French Government in October 2018 that would go towards restoration of the Churches. #PMOEthiopia

Office of the Prime Minister - Ethiopia (@PMEthiopia) 12 March 2019

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