Deputy PM, EU Special Representative for Horn Discuss Wide-ranging Issues

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Addis Ababa July 20/2021 (ENA) Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Demeke Mekonnen and European Union Special Representative for the Horn of Africa Annette Weber have discussed the 6th General Election, the filling of the GERD and the ongoing tripartite negotiation, the humanitarian ceasefire in Tigray, and the Ethiopia-Sudan border dispute yesterday.

The deputy prime minister noted on the occasion that the 6th General Election was credible and peaceful and the federal government has crafted a road map to closely work with competing political parties.   

He further said the government declared unilateral humanitarian ceasefire in Tigray to closely work with the international community for better humanitarian access and strengthen the effort to rehabilitate and rebuild the region.

However, the TPLF has been spoiling the spirits of the ceasefire by engaging in various military attacks exploiting the public as human shield, obstructing humanitarian support, and employing children as soldiers, the deputy premier explained.

In this regard, Demeke said the federal government is committed to take the necessary action against whosoever hinders the unilateral humanitarian ceasefire.

The deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister also expressed his disappointment over the European Union for spearheading a premature and politically motivated resolution on the situation of human rights in Tigray region, overlooking the Ethiopian Government agreement on the deployment of a joint investigation team comprising the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the Office of the Higher Commission for Human Rights.

With respect to GERD, he said Ethiopia expects the EU to hold a neutral position as an observer of the process, adding that the second filling of the dam is taking place as per the DoP and during the wet season without causing appreciable harm to the downstream countries.

The discussion between the two sides included the Ethiopia-Sudan border dispute. Demeke said Sudan has imposed its claims by force, which is a flagrant violation of international law and the principles and purposes of the UN Charter.

It is appropriate for the European Union to condemn Sudan for its aggression and call for a return to the status quo to pave the way for a peaceful settlement of the border dispute, he pointed out.

EU Special Representative Annette Weber on her part said the EU wants the joint investigation into human rights abuses to be expedited.

She also expressed EU’s concerns over the possibility of a humanitarian crisis in the Tigray region.

Finally, the deputy premier called on the European Union (EU) to understand that Ethiopia has a role in the stability of the volatile region and that the EU should act in a positive manner instead of putting unnecessary pressure on the Ethiopian government.