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News: Ethiopia welcomes EU’s move to normalize relations, opts to strengthen partnerships

PM of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed (Left), Charles Michel, President of the EU Council (Right), February 2022 (Photo: Abiy Ahmed Ali/twitter)

Addis Abeba – Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Ministry has welcomed the EU council’s conclusions to soothe relations with Ethiopia, which were severed following the war in the Northern part of the country.

The Ministry noted in a statement on Wednesday Ethiopia’s endeavor to revitalize relations with the EU, and said the recent move will help strengthen the partnership. The statement said the EU among other things has acknowledged progress made in the implementation of the Pretoria Peace Agreement.

Furthermore, “the EU’s readiness to relaunch its regular Multi-Annual Indicative Programme, its strong encouragement of the International Financial Institutions to assist Ethiopia in its economic stabilization and reform agenda, and its call on creditor countries to swiftly conclude the debt restructuring process through the Common Framework are welcome,” the statement reads.

The EU Council said on 24 April that it looks forward to “a normalization of relations with Ethiopia and stands ready to support further progress on its path towards lasting peace.” 

The block said that it “will progressively return” to a full and strengthened strategic engagement with Ethiopia subject to “a sustained implementation” of the permanent Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) signed between the federal government and the TPLF, and has once again reiterated “its full support for the agreement.”

However, rights group Human Rights Watch said the EU’s move “overlooked the lack of progress on key requests, including on justice,” noting that the “EU should have signaled its support for the independent United Nations inquiry it fought to establish and renew at the conflict’s peak.”

In December following the signing of peace agreement between Ethiopian government and Tigrayan authorities, the EU said resuming its “strategic engagement with Ethiopia” requires the “sustained implementation” of the agreement including through political dialogue, further calling for “an immediate and complete withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Ethiopia.” AS

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