U.S. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. spoke on Monday with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia to discuss the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia and opportunities to advance peace and reconciliation.
“President Biden commended Prime Minister Abiy on the recent release of several political prisoners, and the two leaders discussed ways to accelerate dialogue toward a negotiated ceasefire, the urgency of improving humanitarian access across Ethiopia, and the need to address the human rights concerns of all affected Ethiopians, including concerns about detentions of Ethiopians under the state of emergency,” the White House said in a statement.
It added that “President Biden expressed concern that the ongoing hostilities, including recent air strikes, continue to cause civilian casualties and suffering, and he reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to work alongside the African Union and regional partners to help Ethiopians peacefully resolve the conflict.
“Both leaders underscored the importance of the U.S.-Ethiopia relationship, the potential to strengthen cooperation on a range of issues, and the need for concrete progress to resolve the conflict.”
It’s the first phone call between both leaders since Mr. Biden came into power last January.