New EU chief in Ethiopia for first trip outside bloc

ADDIS ABABA (AFP) – European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen arrived in Ethiopia yesterday, her first trip outside Europe since assuming her post, for meetings expected to touch on migration and support for African security operations.

The former German defence minister, who took office on December 1, landed in the capital Addis Ababa during the morning and headed first to the African Union (AU) headquarters for talks with AU chief Moussa Faki Mahamat.

She is scheduled to sit down with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, this year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate as the country prepares for landmark elections next year. The European Union (EU) is Africa’s largest trading partner and biggest source of foreign investment and development aid.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. PHOTO: AP