Opening remarks by Acting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a meeting with Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Abune Mathias I, Moscow, May 15, 2018
We are happy to welcome you at the Foreign Ministry during your visit to the Russian Federation. We cherish relations with the friendly Ethiopian nation at the government level and between non-government organisations. The Russian Orthodox Church and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church contribute to our special relations.
I always remember my trips to Ethiopia with great pleasure. Last March I made another of many trips to Addis Ababa, for very important and constructive talks with President Mulatu Teshome Wirtu, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu. We always note that our common Christian values make a special contribution to the development of our friendly relations and partnership.
Last February, we marked the 120th anniversary of our diplomatic relations but the links between our countries and peoples go back much further, as evidenced by a number of outstanding names such as Abram Petrovich Gannibal, Alexander Pushkin, Nikolai Gumilyov, who are an integral part of our common history. The foundation laid by our predecessors is invaluable. And we know that this foundation serves the further development of our friendly ties in the present. I value this opportunity to discuss our prospects with you.
Once again, welcome.