Radio France Internationale asked me to comment on 5 November 2012 on the formal reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and Qatar.
I noted that Ethiopia broke relations with Qatar in 2008 following allegations that Qatar supported Eritrea and armed opposition groups in the Horn that opposed the government in Addis Ababa. On the sidelines of the London Conference on Somalia in February 2012, former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi met with Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani and agreed to reestablish relations. Prime Minister Hailemarim Desalegn implemented this policy and concluded a formal agreement with al-Thani in Addis Ababa on 5 November 2012. They also signed a series of bilateral agreements and agreed to open embassies in their respective capitals.
This decision represents a continuation of EPRDF foreign policy. It also portends Qatari investment in Ethiopia and may even have positive implications for the future of Ethiopia-Eritrea relations.