ADDIS ABABA-- Japan has welcomed the ongoing reforms in Ethiopia and its recent rapprochement with neighbouring Eritrea, says Kentaro Sonoura, the Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Japan.

Ethiopian State Minister of Foreign Affairs Afework Kassu held discussions with Sonoura here over the weekend on ways of advancing ties between Ethiopia and Japan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The Special Adviser said Japan welcomes reforms happening in Ethiopia and its recent rapprochement with Eritrea. He also praised Ethiopia's role in the South Sudan peace process.

Japan continues to engage in sustaining peace and stability in the Horn of Africa, he said, adding that Tokyo would "strengthen its support to the IGAD mechanism to bring lasting peace in the region, and we would consider supports to address problems related with refugees' management, referring to the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an eight-nation Horn of Africa grouping which is spearheading efforts to restore peace in South Sudan.

Afework and Sonoura discussed at length ways of advancing the bilateral relationship, the statement said. Afework noted that Ethiopia and Japan had enjoyed long years of diplomatic relations. Our diplomatic relation is very rich and matured which presents wider opportunities for our political and economic co-operation, he said.

He pointed to Japan's support for Ethiopia in the areas of infrastructural development, human resource development and the industrial policy dialogue.

The two sides have also discussed on ways of co-operating further at the various multilateral platforms including the issue of reforming the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Meanwhile, the Netherlands has hailed the ongoing reform in Ethiopia and expressed its readiness to provide the necessary support for its sustainability.

The Agricultural and Economic Sector Adviser to Dutch Ambassador Nick Bosmans said here Sunday that Ethiopia was working on sweeping reforms which could be taken as model to the region and the rest of the world.

The notions of reconciliation, togetherness and unity, which have been advocated by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed are crucial for Ethiopia and beyond, according to the Adviser.

Many Dutch investors have been engaged in Ethiopia particularly in the horticulture and textile industries despite the recent uncertainties caused by unrest in some part of the country. But now, the country has been taking on comprehensive reforms which can be ideal for other countries.

The recent rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea which a 20-years diplomatic deadlock could be taken as the major manifestation, it was stated.

The Adviser urged all Ethiopians to be part of the reforms and stand firmed despite some variance in the country. The Netherlands, he added. will collaborate with the government and people of Ethiopia for the sustainability of the ongoing reforms.