The United States has been pressuring Ethiopia to make an arrangement for political settlement to end the war with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia on Wednesday said that Demeke Mekonen, the Minister, met with David Satterfield, U.S. Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa.
Earlier in the week, the U.S. State Department announced that Mr. Satterfield is in Ethiopia for a two-day working visit to meet with the Ethiopian government and African Union officials as well as representatives of international “aid” organisations operating in the country.
An update from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, which was released on social media, said that Demeke Mekonen and Mr. Satterfield discussed “bilateral issues of mutual concern.”
Humanitarian support to the Tigray region of Ethiopia, HR 6600, and S. 3199 are among issues that the Ministry discussed with the US envoy.
However, there was also a conversation about the “peace initiative” by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government.
“The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister also briefed Satterfield about the encouraging peace initiatives that the government of Ethiopia has taken to ensure lasting peace and stability in the country,” the Ministry said in the news update it shared on social media.
The matter was rather left blurry. There have been rumours for several weeks now that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government is engaged in a secret negotiation with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in Kenya – something that the government of Ethiopia did not deny or confirm.
Mr. Demeke seemed to have cited the release of TPLF leaders, who were captured in combat operations, as something that was meant to encourage the “peace initiative.”
“In connection with this[the peace initiative], he mentioned the release of renowned political figures from detention, the lifting of the State of Emergency before its due time, and the positive steps reached so far in establishing a national dialogue Commission and electing its Commissioners, ” said the update from the MFAE.
The response from the U.S. Envoy was, as reported by the MFAE, “… the United States has appreciated and acknowledged the positive steps taken by the Ethiopian government to pacify and stabilise the country.”
In terms of bilateral relations between the two countries, Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister underscored that HR 6600 and S. 3199 do not align well with what he described as “longstanding and historical relations of the two countries.”
It is also said that Demeke “expressed confidence that the U.S. would discard the draft bills since they put the lives of ordinary Ethiopians in danger rather than promote peace and democracy in the country.”
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