ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Demeke Mekonnen met with the new Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ambassador Tracey Ann Jacobson, on Thursday.
The Chargé d’Affaires arrived in Addis Ababa on Friday last week, replacing Ambassador Geeta Pasi.
The Deputy PM welcomed Ambassador Jacobson to his country, expressing Ethiopia’s keen interest to cement bilateral relations with the U.S., says the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in a statement issued after the meeting.
Demeke briefed the new US envoy about various peace initiatives that the government took including release of prisoners as well as preparations to begin inclusive national dialogue sooner.
He also spoke about the efforts of the federal government in implementing the recommendations of the joint UN-UEHRC investigations on alleged human rights abuses in Tigray, mentioning the need to carry out similar probe into abuses perpetrated by the TPLF in the Afar and Amhara regions.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister also explained the efforts of the government of Ethiopia in providing unfettered humanitarian access to Tigray.
However, due to the TPLF’s attack and expansion of the conflict to the Afar Region, the safe passage of humanitarian supplies to Tigray is compromised, further obstructing humanitarian aid efforts, according to MoFA.
Ethiopia expects the U.S. government to hold the TPLF accountable for its atrocious acts and continued provocations in the Afar and Amhara region, said the deputy PM.
According to the deputy PM, measures, such as the exclusion of Ethiopia from AGOA eligibility and the proposed Draft Bill HR6600 do not commensurate with the long standing relationship between the two countries, according to MoFA.
Ambassador Tracey Jacobson, on her part, thanked the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister for the briefing and voiced her U.S.’s concerns over human rights and humanitarian issues related to the conflict in the north Ethiopia, reads MoFA’s statement.
The Chargé d’Affaires also expressed interest in further strengthening the relationship between Ethiopia and the United States.
Demeke finally reassured the Chargé d’Affaires of the Ministry’s readiness to work with her and render support for the successful undertaking of her duties and her mission in Ethiopia, the statement concludes.