European Parliament president met with Ethiopian Authorities, discussed interest in strengthening relation
Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewede on Sunday met with European Parliament president, Charles Michel.
The latter was in the country to attend the 36th African Union Summit of the Head of States which discussed, among other things, food security and “fostering the spirit of pan-Africanism.”
According to Ethiopian state media, Sahle-Work Zewde and Charles Michel discussed ways of further strengthening the relation between Ethiopia and the European Union.
He told President Sahle Work Zewde that he is happy with the peace agreement reached between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
The European Union and the United States were mounting pressure on Ethiopia, including by introducing a sanction regime, during the war. They had been accusing Ethiopia of alleged human rights violations in the Tigray region of Ethiopia – including “genocide.” International Human Rights group deployed to the region has established that there was no “genocide” in the Tigray region.
Mr. Charles Michel also met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Their talks focused on the implementation of the Pretoria agreement that ended the war between the Ethiopian government and TPLF forces.
Mr. Michael tweeted: “…I reiterated the EU’s support for the implementation of the agreement for lasting peace through a permanent Cessation of Hostilities (CoHA). Good talks on the broader EU-Ethiopia relations…”
The race for influence
The U.S. and European Union seem to have established solid relations with P.M. Abiy Ahmed’s administration after the war. There are views that the peace agreement with the TPLF was an imposed one. Eritrea’s president Isaias Afeworki was explicit in his remark during an interview with national TV this week that the United States [ and EU] wanted to rescue TPLF after it launched the third round of attack.
With the agreement, indeed, the TPLF was rescued and became politically relevant to the point that PM Abiy Ahmed is pursuing a rapprochement policy towards TPLF leadership. About two or so weeks ago, he met the leaders for the first time after the war.
China and Russia are also working on strengthening relations with Ethiopia and the rest of Africa. Ethiopia was the first stop for the new Chinese Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, who visited the country early this year. China has also fostered relations with Ethiopia’s neighbor in the north, Eritrea.
Russia on its part has been enhancing diplomatic battles in Africa. In less than a year, Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, has visited about eight countries in two rounds of trips. Ethiopia and Eritrea were among the African countries that Russia’s top diplomat visited.
President Vladimir Putin conveyed a message for African leaders as the 36th African Union summit is underway. He has also invited them for the second Russia-Africa Summit which is expected to happen in July 2023.
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