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Govt Welcomes European Union’s Decision to Normalize Relations with Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA – The government has welcomed the European Union Council conclusions on Ethiopia that involve a decision to “progressively normalize” relations with the East African nation.

The EU Council of foreign ministers issued the conclusions on Ethiopia in its meeting on Monday.

In a statement today, the Ministry of foreign affairs says Ethiopia has been pushing to “revitalize its partnership” with the European Union.

“The Council’s conclusions will help strengthen this partnership,” the Ministry noted.

The decision to normalize the relations comes nearly six months after the conclusion of the cessation of hostilities agreement or CoHA in Pretoria.

The peace agreement signed between the government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) helped to end the two-year-long conflict in northern Ethiopia.

The resolution of the conflict has prompted the EU to look forward to a normalization of relations with Ethiopia, says the EU Council, welcoming “the significant progress in the implementation” of the peace agreement.

“Subject to a sustained implementation of the CoHA, the EU will progressively return to a full and strengthened Strategic Engagement with Ethiopia,” Council said in its Conclusions.

As per the council, the EU “stands ready” to relaunch its regular Multi-Annual Indicative Program, and “strongly encourages” the International Financial Institutions to assist Ethiopia in its economic stabilization and reform agenda.

The Council urged creditor countries to swiftly conclude the debt restructuring process of Ethiopia through the Common Framework.

Addis Ababa has welcomed these decisions, according to Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“It is high time that Ethiopia’s relations with the EU and other friends of the country are placed on a robust grounding,” the ministry stated.

“Partners are reinvigorating their relations with the country,” the Ministry said, “as Ethiopia makes remarkable progress in consolidating and sustaining peace, undertaking economic reforms and rebuilding communities affected by the conflict”.

However, the EU Council expressed “serious concern regarding escalating tensions, alleged violations and abuses of human rights, and violence in various parts of the country including in Oromia and Amhara”.

“The EU encourages an urgent de-escalation and dialogue to achieve durable peace and stability,” the Council said, calling on the government “to continue to work towards a transparent, inclusive, comprehensive and people-centered national dialogue process.”