State Minister Hirut: For the last 40 years, the relationship between Ethiopia and Cuba has continued in the context of mutual benefit and trust.

Speaking at the Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Ogaden War (1977 – 1978) later on March 16, 2018, and of Cuban soldiers who have lost their lives defending Ethiopia at the Ethio-Cuba Friendship Park, State Minister Mrs. Hirut Zemene, expressed the profoundest gratitude of the people of Ethiopia "for the determination of the hero and heroine Cuban soldiers, who gave their precious life to defend our country's sovereignty." Mrs. Hirut echoed, "They were great comrades who thought us the pursuit of humanity and sacrifice for the betterment of others."

After paying a warm tribute to the fallen Cuban soldiers, State Minister Hirut, embarked on the reiteration of the four decades of close friendship and cooperation between Ethiopia and Cuba, both through their peoples and governments. In this regard, Mrs. Hirut underscored, "For the last 40 years, the relation of the two countries has continued in the context of mutual benefit and trust." Among other things, Mrs. Hirut stated, "Cuba has provided technical support to Ethiopia in the areas of education, health, science and technology." The critical role Cuba has played in the overall improvement of the healthcare system in Ethiopia is to be noted, Mrs. Hirut added, attesting to the fact that "some of [Ethiopia's] outstanding doctors were trained in Cuba."

Referring to the sci-tech cooperation Ethiopia and Cuba cherish, State Minister Hirut, underlined "our cooperation [in this regard], especially in biotechnology has been progressing very well." As a beacon for this sort of flagship project, the Ethiopian Government has established the Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute in 2016 by a Council of Ministers' Proclamation.

With regards to multilateral cooperation, State Minister Hirut stated, "Ethiopia and Cuba work together in multilateral fora, particularly in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the G77 framework."

Upon closing her remarks on the fallen Cuban soldiers, the State Minister stressed, "It is [a ripe moment] to move forward in solidifying for further collaboration and renew our joint efforts to create a better future for our people."

It is a recent memory that, as part of the overall efforts on both sides to elevate the current level of their multifarious relations, President Dr. Mulatu Teshome visited Cuba in January this year and deliberated with his Cuban counterpart, Mr. Raul Castro and agreed to strengthen the historic cooperation and identify other potential areas of partnership.