Africa-Press – Ethiopia. s Ababa May 6/2022/ENA/ Ethiopia and the European Union (EU) held their annual political dialogue today in Addis Ababa as per Article 8 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the EU and African, Caribbean, and the Pacific States, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The two sides deliberated issues of mutual interest, including humanitarian and accountability measures taken concerning the conflict in northern Ethiopia and the EU-Ethiopia relations, taking various socio-economic matters into consideration.
In his opening remarks, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen presented an overview of the various confidence-building measures that the Government of Ethiopia has been undertaking to end the conflict in the north and ensure lasting peace in the country.
He mentioned, among others, the declaration of the humanitarian truce which paved unimpeded access to humanitarian support, the support of the peace initiatives of Olusegun Obasanjo as High Representative for the Horn of Africa, and the proposed all-inclusive national dialogue.
Unfortunately, the peace-building measures of the government are not getting deserved positive response from the TPLF, he noted, and requested European Union’s support and understanding in this regard.
Moreover, TPLF’s refusal to evacuate its troops from all of the occupied areas in Amhara and Afar regions and deploying massive forces in some adjacent areas shows its preparations to launch new attacks, Demeke pointed out.
Justice Minister Gedion Timotheos on his part walked the audience through the formation of the inter-ministerial task force to investigate atrocities, the UN-EHRC joint investigation and efforts made to implement the recommendations as well as the ongoing and scheduled prosecution of the perpetrators.
National Disaster Risk Management Commissioner, Mitiku Kassa explained the steps taken so far to ensure unimpeded humanitarian support to Tigray region, citing improved procedures related to visa issuance, reduction of checkpoints, and increment in the amount of cash humanitarian operators are allowed to carry while operating in the region, among others.
Thanking humanitarian partners for the support they rendered to the drought and conflict-affected people in Ethiopia, he stressed the need to expand the support base in many parts of the country, including Amhara and Afar regions, and give proper attention to long-term development and rehabilitation efforts.
The Ethiopia-European Union (EU) political dialogue is timely for both parties given the challenging situations they have faced now, European Union Ambassador to Ethiopia Roland Kobia said.
Aside from humanitarian issues and accountability measures for alleged human rights violations, the dialogue also covered situations about the business landscape in Ethiopia from the perspective of European investors, stressing predictability and peace for building a thriving economy, it was learned.
Representatives of the European Union appreciated the peace building measures of the Government of Ethiopia and its commitments to come up with amicable solutions to the border conflict between Ethiopia and Sudan and the trilateral negotiations over the GERD.
Both parties appreciated the opportunity that the political dialogue offered them to genuinely reflect on pivotal issues of common interest exchanging wishes to meet in the next round with pledges to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two sides.