Ethiopia’s Council of Ministers approved on March 19 the draft law on military cooperation with Turkey, which provides for close cooperation on the fight against piracy, training, development of the military industry and a program of joint exercises between the armed forces of the two countries.
The regulatory measure stems from the three agreements signed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Ankara in 2021, under which the general platform of cooperation had been outlined, which should have led the two countries to define the regulatory framework within which to place on a practical level the possibility of bilateral military cooperation.
With the approval by the Council of Ministers, the bill now passes to the evaluation and vote of Parliament, which must ratify it and make it fully operational.
Military cooperation between Ethiopia and Turkey has been the subject of interest on several occasions by the international community, especially in the aftermath of the sale of Bayraktar TB2 drones that allowed the federal army in Addis Ababa to reverse the dynamics of the conflict against Tigray, stopping the advance of TDF forces.
Last December the United States had expressed concern about the sale of Turkish drones and MAM-L ammunition, and their use in the conflict, although no official confirmation had been provided by either Ethiopia or Turkey on the actual transfer of the drones to ENDF forces.
Turkey, on the contrary, had reiterated that its political commitment in Ethiopia was aimed at finding any possible solution for peace, and the ambassador of Ankara in Addis Ababa, Yaprak Alp, had repeatedly recalled that Turkey’s position in the conflict was neutral.