PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed his support for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's ambitious reforms and diplomatic peace efforts.
The young, reformist African leader was on a working visit Monday to France in his first trip to Europe since taking office in April.
In a joint declaration, France welcomed "the rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea." Both countries pledged to "continue their efforts in order to promote peace and prosperity in the region."
Within a few months, Abiy has implemented sweeping economic and political reforms, among them making peace with longtime rival Eritrea, which has set off a series of diplomatic thaws in Africa's turbulent Horn of Africa region.
Macron and Abiy also pledged to increase cultural cooperation, especially on World Heritage sites such as the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela.