Ethiopia was the only nation in Africa to have never been colonized by a European country. In 1935, Italian troops entered Ethiopia and successfully triumphed over the Ethiopian army and proceeded to occupy the country for the next five years. This was known as the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. At the League of Nations, Mexico was one of only five member-states to condemn the Italian invasion and occupation of Ethiopia. Because of this, Ethiopia kept its seat in the assembly, and it remained a member. A few years after World War II, diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and Mexico were established in 1949. In 1954, Emperor Haile Selassie became the first ever African head of state to pay an official visit to Mexico.
In 1963, both nations opened embassies in each other's capitals, respectively; however, Mexico closed its embassy in Ethiopia in 1989 due to financial reasons and Ethiopia followed suit in 1990. In 2007, Mexico re-opened its embassy in Addis Ababa.
To commemorate Mexico's assistance to Ethiopia during its occupation by Italy; Ethiopia named a center square in Addis Ababa "Mexico Square". In 2010, the Mexican government donated a replica of an Olmec colossal head to Ethiopia where it was placed in Mexico Square. In September 2015, the Ethiopian capital inaugurated its Light Rail system and has a "Mexico Station". On the 22nd of June, 1954, a traffic circle in Mexico City was named "Plaza Etiopía", under which in August 1980, a metro station in Mexico City was built and named Metro Etiopía. In 1985, after a major earthquake shook Mexico City, Ethiopia donated $5,000 to help aid the victims of the earthquake.
In July 2010, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi arrived to Cancun to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference. In June 2012, Prime Minister Zenawi again visited Mexico to participate in the G-20 summit being heald in Los Cabos. In 2014, both nations marked 65 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations. In 2017, Ethiopian Airlines launched cargo services between both nations.
High-level visits from Ethiopia to Mexico
High-level visits from Mexico to Ethiopia
- Foreign minister Patricia Espinosa (2010)
Ethiopia and Mexico have signed the following bilateral agreements: Agreement to Establish Consultations on Mutual Interests (2006) and an Agreement on the Elimination of Visa Requirements for Diplomatic Passport Holders (2006).
In 2017, two-way trade between Ethiopia and Mexico amounted to US$7.3 million. Mexico's main exports to Ethiopia include: landing gears, knives and electronic equipment. Ethiopia's main exports to Mexico include: sesame seeds and industrial equipment to make shoes. Between 1999 - 2011 Ethiopian direct investments in Mexico amounted to US$2.5 million. Ethiopia is Mexico's 141st biggest trading partner globally.
Resident diplomatic missions
- Ethiopia has an accredited embassy to Mexico from Washington, DC, United States.
- Mexico has an embassy in Addis Ababa.
- Bilateral relations between Mexico and Ethiopia (in Spanish)
- Visita del Emperador Haile Selassie I a México (in Spanish)
- Gaceta Parlamentaria: Brief history of Mexico-Ethiopia relations (in Spanish)
- Ethiopian Red Cross donates aid to Mexican quake victims
- El Presidente en la Conferencia de Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno Africanos sobre Cambio Climático (in Spanish)
- Meles Zenawi at G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico
- México robustece sus vínculos con África (in Spanish)
- Ethiopian Airlines sería la Primera Aerolínea Africana en Volar a México (in Spanish)
- La diversificación de la política exterior mexicana en África, Medio Oriente y Asia Central (in Spanish)
- Mexican Ministry of the Economy: Ethiopia (in Spanish)
- Embassy of Ethiopia in Washington, DC
- Embassy of Mexico in Addis Ababa (in English and Spanish)