ANKARA

Expanding its vaccine assistance in Africa, China has said that it will send COVID-19 vaccines to Algeria and Ethiopia.

In his phone calls with foreign ministers of Algeria and Ethiopia on Wednesday night, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said his country is ready to provide vaccines for Ethiopia and Algeria to support their fight against COVID-19, China’s public broadcaster CGTN reported on Thursday.

Speaking to Ethiopia’s Demeke Mekonnen, Wang was quoted as saying China expects Addis Ababa “to play a more profound role in the regional and international affairs.”

Wang also said Beijing hopes Ethiopia “would continue supporting China on issues related to China’s core interests.”

He added that China will provide COVID-19 vaccines and funds to Ethiopia to assist its COVID-19 fight and economic recovery afterward.”

China is going to provide emergency food assistance to the country’s Tigray region as an effort to help the region return to normal life, the Chinese foreign minister said.

A conflict broke erupted in November after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front forces, once a dominant party on the federal level, captured a military base in Tigray. Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed responded by ordering a security operation.

In a separate call with Algerian Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum, Wang said Algeria “made great contributions in helping China resume its legitimate seat at the United Nations 50 years ago.”

Wang told his Algerian counterpart that the Chinese people will never forget Algeria’s efforts.

He said that China has decided to offer emergency vaccine assistance to the country.

It will also make purchasing vaccines convenient for Algeria, Wang added.

Meanwhile, Mexico granted emergency approval for the use of COVID-19 vaccines developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech and CanSino Biologics, the country’s Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said.

The South American nation is among the worst-hit countries with nearly two million cases including 169,760 deaths.

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