Ethiopia’s FM, U.S. Envoy Hold Talks Over Issues related to Tigray, GERD

ADDIS ABABA – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen, has held discussion with the U.S. Delegation led by senator Chris Coons on humanitarian situation in Tigray and other key regional issues.

The two sides discussed a range of issues including the military operation in Tigray, border dispute with Sudan and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).

United States president Joe Bident sent Senator Coons to convey his “grave concerns” over the humanitarian crisis in Tigray following the government ousted TPLF party from Mekelle after the party’s forces carried out a deadly attack on federal army base in the region.

During the talks, Demeke briefed the delegation about the nature and purpose of the law enforcement the federal government carried out in the region and the humanitarian development that followed, according to state-affiliated media, FBC, report.

The FM has shed light on the confusions that the US Government previously had about the military operation in the region, FBC added.

Demeke also told the delegation unequivocally that Ethiopia doesn’t want any interference in the law enforcement operation in its territory, it added.

He also explained about Sudan’s aggression in border areas of the nation while making Ethiopia’s stand regarding the talks regarding GERD clear.

Ethiopia wants to stick to the trilateral negotiation over GERD with Sudan and Egypt to continue under under the auspices of the African Union, he said.

Sudan and Egypt wants to involve three other parties including the United States to be involved as a mediator – a proposal Ethiopia opposes.

‘The Discussion Cleard confusions’

The face to face meeting was decisive to clear confusions woven by various elements and enable the U.S. to know the truth about what is really on the ground, said spokesperson of MoFA Dina Mufti, who attended the discussion.

The meeting would help further the relationship between Ethiopia and the US, he added.

Senator Chris Coons, to his part, urged the government and partner organizations to intensify humanitarian assistance in Tigray, according to state television EBC report, .

America considers Ethiopia’s strategic importance in the Eastern Africa and the region at large reaffirming America’s commitment to closely follow the situation in Ethiopia, the report claims.

This is the first high level delegation visit from the US since President Joe Baiden took office.

Meanwhile, Senator Coons held discussion with African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat “on issues of common concern” on Sunday.

Chairperson Mahamat described the meeting, held at his office in Addis Ababa, as “fruitful” and thanked the senator for United States “commitment to partner with the AU in search of durable solutions”.