Ethiopia’s Abiy says he and Biden spoke, agreed to strengthen ties

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Monday he had held a candid telephone conversation with U.S. President Joe Biden about current issues in Ethiopia, where a war has been raging in the northern region of Tigray since November 2020.

“We both agree there is great value in strengthening our cooperation through constructive engagement founded on mutual respect,” Abiy said on Twitter, also mentioning that bilateral relations and regional matters had been discussed.

The conflict in northern Ethiopia, pitting Abiy’s federal forces and their regional allies, backed by Eritrea, against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the party that governs Tigray, has killed thousands of civilians and displaced millions.

Washington has repeatedly called for an end to hostilities and a negotiated resolution to the conflict, an end to human rights abuses, and for unhindered humanitarian access.

The United States has cut Ethiopia from access to a duty-free trade programme, following through on Biden’s threat to do so over alleged human rights violations in Tigray.

In November, the United States imposed sanctions on the Eritrean military and other Eritrea-based individuals and entities, over their involvement in the Ethiopian conflict.

Reuters

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