United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Tuesday met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali on the sidelines of the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington.
Blinken welcomed the November 2 peace agreement reached in South Africa between the Ethiopian federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) but also called for all Eritrean forces to leave Ethiopia.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price described the peace accord as key to bringing lasting peace to northern Ethiopia.
“Secretary Blinken commended steps taken by the Ethiopian government to improve humanitarian access and begin restoration of essential services,” Price said in a readout.
He added, “The Secretary urged accelerated implementation of the agreement and access to the conflict areas by international human rights monitors. Secretary Blinken and the Prime Minister also discussed the urgent need for all Eritrean forces to leave Ethiopia, which is to happen concurrently with disarmament of Tigrayan combatants.
“The United States remains committed to supporting the African Union-led peace process, including the AU monitoring and verification mechanism.”
In brief remarks before their bilateral meeting, Blinken described the Ethiopian peace agreement last month as “good news for the entire nation.”
Outside the convention center in Washington where all African and American officials will be meeting on Wednesday and Thursday, Tigrayans were gathering in what may be two days of massive protests against a man they describe as a killer.
Today News Africa, which is covering the summit, will be bringing you pictures, videos and interviews in the coming hours.