Foreign Minister Murray McCully will visit Ethiopia this week to attend the African Union Executive Council.
Mr McCully is scheduled to meet with Ethiopian government ministers while in Addis Ababa as well as attending the Council on January 25 and 26.
"This summit provides New Zealand with an opportunity to engage with ministers from nearly all of the 54 African Union states and convey our excellent credentials for United Nations Security Council membership in 2015-16," Mr McCully said.
He will also visit Kuwait and Qatar in the Middle East while on the way to Ethiopia.
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"Kuwait and Qatar are both countries which - as major energy suppliers - have high growth rates and strong economies. But they're situated in the middle of a region beset with tension and unrest. I'm looking forward to discussing these issues with senior ministers in the two countries," Mr McCully said.