Jaishankar holds 'productive' talks with Ethiopian Deputy PM Mekonnen

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New Delhi, Feb 19 (PTI) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday held extensive talks with Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia Demeke Mekonnen during which it was agreed to expand bilateral ties in areas of defence, economy and digital technology among others.

Mekonnen, accompanied by a high-level delegation, paid an official visit to India from February 17 to 19.

Jaishankar described as 'useful and productive' the talks covering a range of bilateral and regional issues.

'Welcomed DPM&FM @DemekeHasen of Ethiopia. Useful & productive discussions on a range of bilateral®ional issues. Agreed to expand our bilateral agenda esp defence, economic, S&T, digital & cultural cooperation,' he said on Twitter.

'Appreciated his detailed briefing on the current situation in the region,' the external affairs minister added.

The Ministry of External Affairs said the two ministers held wide-ranging discussions and exchanged views on bilateral, regional and global issues.

Jaishankar also also hosted lunch for Mekonnen who is also foreign minister of Ethiopia.

The two sides signed an agreement on mutual visa exemption for holders of diplomatic passports.

The two ministers also jointly inaugurated the newly-constructed Chancery building and embassy of Ethiopia in the national capital on Thursday.

The External Affairs Minister addressed the gathering and spoke of the historic ties between India and Ethiopia, the MEA said.

He also touched upon the flourishing bilateral trade and investment ties and the growing people-to-people contacts.

Mekonnen highlighted the importance of the India-Ethiopia relationship while speaking at the event.

Separately, Jaishankar on Friday also spoke to Armenian foreign minister Ara Aivazian.

'A warm conversation with my new Armenian counterpart @Aivazian_Ara. Appreciate his briefing on the situation in his region. Discussed our bilateral cooperation. Look forward to working with him closely,' the external affairs minister tweeted. PTI MPB ZMN