May 28/2021(ENA) Ethiopia and Sweden have held their bi-annual bilateral consultations on Thursday focusing on the relationship between the two countries and the current situation in Ethiopia and the region.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Redwan Hussien, and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Robert Rydberg led the virtual discussions.
According to a statement from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the consultations widely covered issues on the humanitarian support in Tigray, the negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), and the upcoming general elections in the country.
Addressing the concerns of Sweden on the situation in Tigray, Redwan reiterated that the government has considerably expanded access to humanitarian support and intensified efforts to deliver food and non-food items to those in need in the region.
He also called upon the international community to scale up humanitarian support since the federal government has been covering the lion’s share of the delivery of aid exhausting its meager resources.
Acknowledging the efforts of the Ethiopian Attorney General and the joint investigation by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the UN OHCHR, the Swede’s Deputy Foreign Minister pointed out issues that have to be addressed to return the region to normalcy.
Regarding the upcoming general elections, Redwan expressed his country’s commitment to making it free and fair while the Swedes expressed their confidence that it would be inclusive and transparent.
In their discussion on regional issues, the two sides noted that the border dispute between Ethiopia and Sudan and the negotiations over the GERD should get peaceful resolutions, it was indicated.
Noting the institutional support to Ethiopia’s reform programs, Sweden stated that it is developing a country program for 2022-2026 to further strengthen development cooperation between the two countries.
Sweden and Ethiopia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2016 to hold bilateral consultations bi-annually.