Ethiopia and Spain established diplomatic relations in 1951 and
the opening of the Spanish Embassy in Addis Ababa followed in 1962. The relationship between Ethiopia and Spain today is steadily increasing in all areas. The relationship has been
consolidated by many high-level visits. Recent visits to Spain by Ethiopian
officials have included the visits Prime Minister Meles in July 2010, State Minister Ambassador
Berhane Gebre-Christos to Madrid in June 2016 as
part of the regular political consultations between the two foreign ministries. Visits by Spanish officials have included visits by Prime
Minister Jose Zapatero in January 2010, Mr. Miguel Angel Moratinos, former
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in January 2008 and H.M King Felipe VI
the King of Spain visited Addis at the invitation of Prime Minister
Hailemariam Dessalegn at the sideline of the AU Summit held in January /2015
and the visit of H.E Mr. IIdefonso Castro, Secretary of state
of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain in April 2017 for political consultation.
Ethiopia regards Spain as one of its major partners for economic cooperation; Ethiopia is a priority partner country for Spain. Ethiopia and Spain are partners in development and to this effect, a framework of development cooperation was signed in 2011 that serves the basis of financial cooperation up to 2015. Spain continued with the same framework but priorities were aligned with GTP Two. However, trade and investment relationships between Ethiopia and Spain are not as strong as they should be. Ethiopia believes that this relationship could be strengthened and expanded considerably. Indeed, it is Ethiopia's firm belief that the bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement signed between the two countries on 17th March 2009 should encourage significantly greater Spanish investment in Ethiopia. Ethiopia, while continuing its own efforts to attract more investors of Spanish origin, would also like to see the Spanish Government taking additional measures to encourage its citizens to invest in Ethiopia. One of the main interests of the Government of Spain in the Horn of Africa is the stability of the sub-region to which it attaches great importance. It supports IGAD and the African Union in capacity building. The support is a clear testimony of Spain's interest to work with Africa and with the regional body (IGAD). Spain, through the EU and together with other members of the international community, is also actively involved in the fight against piracy and terrorism, elements in which Ethiopia, of course, continues to have strong involvement and a considerable stake; Spain has deployed naval units along the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden under the EU deployment against piracy since April 2009. Ethiopia remains strongly convinced that Spain will continue to work with Africa and with IGAD on issues of regional and international concern.