“Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.” Psalm 68፡31
EOTC Dioceses of North America
We, the undersigned Archbishops of the North American Dioceses of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church have completed a two-day working visit to Washington DC from September 15 to 16, 2021. The objective of our visit was to meet and discuss with relevant US officials about the current situation in Ethiopia. We had intensive discussions with the officials of the Department of State, members of the US Senate and members of the US House of Representatives.
During the visit we briefed US officials on the conflict in Northern Ethiopia in particular our concern with the ongoing war and destruction in Amhara and Afar region as well as the humanitarian relief situation in the Tigray Region. During our meetings, we stressed the ongoing senseless war of aggression unleashed by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) against innocent civilians in the Amhara and Afar Regions has resulted in enormous humanitarian disaster in those areas. During this invasion, TPLF fighters targeted civilians – killing thousands of innocent Ethiopians, looting their property and destroying everything they found on their way. We also brought to the attention of officials the displacement of nearly one million Ethiopians who have been forced from their homes and left in a precarious uncertain future. The indiscriminate destruction of civilian targets and properties including hospitals and clinics, schools and social service institutions has become daily routine. Sacred religious sites – many churches (one of them was the 12th century rock- hewn Church in Lalibela) and mosques have been violated. Relief distribution centers and stores which are managed by donor countries and non-profit organizations including that of the USAID were looted and ransacked.
In our discussion we urged the Biden Administration to adopt a more balanced and fair policy on Ethiopia and take all necessary actions to maintain the historical relations between peoples of the United States and Ethiopia. We also asked the Administration to strongly denounce the TPLF aggression and pressurize them to withdraw their forces immediately. In regard to bilateral economic relations, we brought to their attention the need to renew Ethiopia’s eligibility for African Growth and opportunity Act (AGOA) in 2022 – the issue which has been under discussion recently by some to serve as a punitive action against Ethiopia. We urged the US officials to engage and support the legitimate Federal Government of Ethiopia in its efforts to find peaceful solutions to the conflict in the country. We had positive reactions and engaging interaction with all whom we met. They listened to our long term concerns and immediate worries attentively and we are most grateful for that. US officials on their part emphasized the need for peaceful resolution of the conflict and promised to help out in finding peaceful means of solving the problems in Ethiopia. They also promised to to keep their doors open for future engagement.
Finally, we expressed our gratitude to the Government and people of the United States for the opportunity they provided for hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans who call the United States their home. We also expressed our appreciation for the continued humanitarian assistance to millions of Ethiopians who are affected by drought and the war in Ethiopia.
- His Eminence Archbishop Fanuel – Archdiocese of Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland & Delaware
- His Eminence Archbishop Ewostatewos (Dr.) – Archdiocese of Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa & Wisconsin
- His Eminence Archbishop Yaekob – Archdiocese of Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee & Alabama
- His Eminence Archbishop Sawiros – Archdiocese of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico & Hawaii
- His Eminence Archbishop Selama – Archdiocese of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky & Illinois
- His Eminence Archbishop Samuel – Washington, DC
- His Eminence Archbishop Theophilus – Archdiocese of Northern California, Nevada & Arizona
- His Eminence Archbishop Barnabas – Archdiocese of Southern California & Alaska
- His Eminence Archbishop Markos – Archdiocese of Washington, Oregon, Wyoming & Idaho
- His Eminence Archbishop Nathanael – Archdiocese of Colorado, Utah, Kansas & Nebraska
- His Eminence Archbishop Peterose – Archdiocese of New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine & Connecticut.
- 12. His Eminence Archbishop Dimetrios – Archdiocese of Ontario, Canada
God May Bless the United States of America and Ethiopia!
Done on September 16, 2021
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