Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Monday he held a telephone conversation with U.S. President Joe Biden about current issues in Ethiopia, where the conflict has been raging in the northern region of Tigray since November 2020.
“We both agree there is great value in strengthening our cooperation through constructive engagement founded on mutual respect,” Abiy said on Twitter, also mentioning that bilateral relations and regional matters had been discussed.
I held a candid phone conversation with @POTUS on current issues in Ethiopia, bilateral relations as well as regional matters. We both agree there is great value in strengthening our cooperation through constructive engagement founded on mutual respect.
— Abiy Ahmed Ali 🇪🇹 (@AbiyAhmedAli) January 10, 2022
The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed told US President Joe Biden that the conflict in Tigray is an internal matter and that the economic sanctions by Washington against Addis Ababa are in bad faith and unhelpful now.
On his part, President Biden called for an end to hostilities and a negotiated resolution to the conflict during the conversation, according to a statement issued by the White House.
The conflict that erupted in November 2020 in Ethiopia’s northernmost Tigray region between forces loyal to the TPLF and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), has caused civilian casualties and suffering.
Ethiopia previously accused the United States of meddling in its affairs after Washington announced restrictions on economic and security assistance over alleged human rights abuses during the conflict in the northern Tigray region.
Ethiopia’s President that if the U.S. restrictions continued, his administration “will be forced to reassess its relations with the United States, which might have implications beyond our bilateral relationship.”
Ethiopia provides peacekeepers for African Union missions in the neighbouring nations of Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia.
It has also been a key intelligence partner of Western nations monitoring Islamist militants in the Horn of Africa.