News: Ethiopia tells US special envoy to the region to condemn TPLF; Special envoy says Peace and Unity in Ethiopia remains top US foreign policy

US Special Envoy to the Horn Jeffrey Feltman yesterday met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Demeke Mekonnen. Photo: MoFA

By Getahun Tsegaye @GetahunTsegay12

Addis Abeba, August 18/2021 – The United States Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman yesterday met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Demeke Mekonnen as part of his 9 days tour of Djibouti, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates and scheduled to take place between August 15 to August 24 in an effort to promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the region. 

According to the Ethiopian News Agency (ENA), DPM Demeke Mekonnen told the Special Envoy that the US should condemn TPLF’s attacks.

The Deputy Prime Minister emphasized on the role that attack on the Northern Command and the subsequent atrocities carried out by forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have contributed to the current crisis. He added that TPLF is currently committing serious human violations, in both Afar and Amhara states.

He accused the US government of having chosen to remain silent as the TPLF committed all these crimes and betrayals. Demeke argued that USA’s silence is unusual and incompatible with the relationship between the two brotherly countries according to the report.

The state news agency reported that Special Envoy Jeffrey Feltman on his part  said the US government understands the Ethiopian people’s views on the group/TPLF. He added that maintaining Ethiopia’s sovereignty, and ensuring its peace and unity remains a top foreign policy for the US government.  

Jeffrey Feltman, who arrived in Ethiopia from Djibouti yesterday, was expected to hold talks with top officials in the federal government including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to discuss the current crisis in the country and urge parties to the conflict to come to the negotiation table. His visit comes in the backdrop of a previous visit by USAID chief Samantha Power where she was expected to meet PM Abiy Ahmed but expressed regret over not meeting him.

As the trip by the special envoy comes to an end, it remains unclear whether or not he met with PM Abiy Ahmed. So far there is no official statement from the government indicating the Special Envoy’s meeting with the PM. A diplomatic source who wanted to remain anonymous told Addis Standard that it was “unlikely to happen.”

The office of the Prime Minister tweeted earlier today said “Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his delegation have arrived in Ankara, Turkey for a working visit. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will be meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan where they are expected to discuss bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest.” AS

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