Demeke, US Envoy Discuss HR6600, Govt’s Peace Initiatives

ADDIS ABABA – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen held talks with U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, David Satterfield, over bilateral issues of mutual concern.

The two sides held their discussion in Addis Ababa on Tuesday, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or MoFA’s statement issued today.

Speaking on the humanitarian support to the Tigray region, the statement says the Deputy Prime Minister reiterated the government’s commitment to allow unimpeded access to humanitarian operators.

He, however, stressed concerns over obstructions to the flow of humanitarian assistance due to the TPLF’s continued provocation of adjacent regions.

Discussing bilateral ties between Ethiopia and the U.S., Demeke said HR6600 and S. 3199 could not be reflective of the longstanding and historical relations of the two countries.

He expressed confidence that the U.S. would discard the draft bills since they put the lives of ordinary Ethiopians in danger rather than promote peace and democracy in the country.

Demeke also briefed Satterfield about the encouraging peace initiatives that the government of Ethiopia has taken to ensure lasting peace and stability in the country.

In connection with this, he mentioned the release of renowned political figures from detention, the lifting of the State of Emergency before its due time, and the positive steps reached so far in establishing a national dialogue Commission and electing its Commissioners.

Special Envoy David Satterfield, on his part, said the United States has appreciated and acknowledged the positive steps taken by the Ethiopian government to pacify and stabilize the country, according to MoFA’s statement.

Special Envoy Satterfield came to Ethiopia on Monday for a two-day visit.

Apart from the deputy prime Minister, Satterfield met with AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa Olusegun Obasanjo and AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Bankole Adeoye.

The envoy discussed with the two AU officials on the US’s “engagement on regional affairs, including Sudan and Ethiopia,” said the U.S. Department of State.