Biden, Abiy discuss Ethiopia matters
Ethiopia's Prime Minister announces he had a phone conversation with US President Joe Biden, and the White House says Biden praised Addis Ababa's decision to release political prisoners.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced Monday evening, that he had a phone conversation with US President Joe Biden, noting that they discussed current issues in Ethiopia, bilateral relations, and regional matters.
On Twitter, Abiy said he and Biden "both agree there is great value in strengthening our cooperation through constructive engagement founded on mutual respect," Ahmed pointed out.
I held a candid phone conversation with @POTUS on current issues in Ethiopia, bilateral relations as well as regional matters. We both agree there is great value in strengthening our cooperation through constructive engagement founded on mutual respect.— Abiy Ahmed Ali 🇪🇹 (@AbiyAhmedAli) January 10, 2022
Biden claimed he is concerned
For his part, Biden welcomed the release of opposition leaders in Ethiopia and promised support for resolving the Tigray war, the White House said.
During the phone call, Biden "commended Prime Minister Abiy on the recent release of several political prisoners," a statement said.
The two also "discussed ways to accelerate dialogue toward a negotiated ceasefire, the urgency of improving humanitarian access across Ethiopia, and the need to address the human rights concerns," the statement added.
According to the White House, Biden claimed he is concerned that "ongoing hostilities, including recent airstrikes, continue to cause civilian casualties and suffering."
Ethiopia pardons several opposition members
The Ethiopian government's communications service said in a statement that the decision to pardon and free a number of detained political figures comes to "pave the way for a lasting solution to Ethiopia's problems in a peaceful, non-violent way."
The call came a day after the UN said aid agencies suspended work in part of Tigray after an airstrike was carried out against a camp for displaced people, causing scores of casualties.
It is noteworthy that the Ethiopian government announced a few days ago the launching of a comprehensive dialogue in the country, with the aim of ending recent wars.
Last month, the Ethiopian government announced ending its military operation against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).
For its part, the Front announced, days before the government announcement, the completion of the process of withdrawing its forces from the regions of Afar and Amhara, as part of its initiative to establish peace with the government.
In November 2020, war broke out in northern Ethiopia between the federal forces and the TPLF, which controls the Tigray region, after the Ethiopian government announced the postponement of the September 2020 elections.