ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday agreed to expedite the signing of overseas labor agreement.
The two countries announce the commitment as part of the visit of Ethiopia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Workneh Gebeyehu, to the Middle East country.
"Gebeyehu and Nasser Bin Thani Al Hamel, UAE's Minister of Human Resources, have underscored the need to fast-track the signing of labor agreement that was being discussed for over two years," said a statement issued by the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
Gebeyehu stressed that the signing of the overseas labor agreement "will create a viable legal framework for protection and safety of workers."
UAE is one of the major Middle Eastern destinations of Ethiopian migrants in search for job.
The announcement came amid the Ethiopian government's attempt to repatriate its undocumented citizens from Saudi Arabia as the latter ordered undocumented foreigners to leave its territory or face fine and imprisonment.
The Ethiopian government has repatriated some 14,130 Ethiopians from the kingdom, since the extended amnesty period ended on November 15.
However, hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians are still believed to live in the kingdom without legal document and still hesitant to return home.