PM Abiy Holds Phone Call with EU Council President

ADDIS ABABA – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed held a phone call with European Union Council President, Charles Michel, about regional and national issues.

The conversation on Monday is a follow-up on their meeting in the margins of the African Union-EU Summit last February as well as the recent visit of Commissioner Lenarcic to Ethiopia.

During the conversation, a readout of the telephone call published by the EU Council says President Michel took note of the recent efforts to improve humanitarian access in Tigray since the humanitarian truce.

These efforts should be increased and sustained, notably via alternative roads and restoration of basic services, notably telecommunications, Michel said. 

The President also highlighted that fuel and fertilizers are urgently needed to fight food insecurity which is a major consequence of Russia’s war in Ukraine, mentioning the EU’s recent 633 million Euro pledge to address food insecurity in the Horn of Africa.

The Prime Minister underlined efforts of the Government to address the crisis with Tigray, both at the political level and from a humanitarian standpoint, according to the readout

The President said that the recent efforts made by the Ethiopian authorities to cooperate with the UN did not go unnoticed by the EU and recalled the importance of accountability and justice for human rights.

The President and the Prime Minister discussed relations with Sudan and negotiations with partners on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the readout says.

The President underlined the importance of peaceful relations among neighbors and choosing dialogue as the privileged measure to resolve disputes. 

On Sudan, the President explained this had also been conveyed last week to General Burhan by the EU. In response, Prime Minister Abiy referred to ongoing discussions in the framework of the joint border commission to negotiate and demarcate borders. 

With regards to GERD, President Michel said that the “EU supports a negotiated solution that is mutually acceptable by all sides”, according to the readout.

The claim contradicts the recent EU-Egypt joint statement issued that states reaching an agreement that “protects Egypt’s water security” as their top priority.

Ethiopian foreign ministry called it a “biased stance”, urging the EU to reconsider its stance.

Featured Image caption: The phone conversation between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Charles Michel, European Council president, was a follow-up of their previous meeting [sen in the photo] held on the margins of the sixth Europe-Africa Leaders Summit in Brussels in February 2022.