H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, and Honorable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada had an online video conversation today (July 29) on the situations in Tigray.
At the onset of their discussion, the two officials noted the historical and fraternal relationship between Ethiopia and Canada, which should further be strengthened.
Honorable Marc Garneau recalled Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to Ethiopia last year and his meeting with Prime Minister Abiy, where they had exchanged views on the reform in Ethiopia and Canada’s commitment to supporting such positive efforts.
Discussing the political and humanitarian situation in Tigray, the Canadian Foreign Minister said Canada expects an expedited improvement to the flow of humanitarian support into the region.
In addressing the concerns of the Canadian Foreign Minister, Mr. Demeke said the decision of the Federal Government to declare a unilateral ceasefire was meant to address humanitarian concerns in the region.
He said the TPLF has wasted the opportunity for peace under the ceasefire and chose to blocking humanitarian corridors and launching fresh attacks in Afar and Amhara regions.
He expressed Ethiopia’s concern over the failure of the international community to recognize the Ethiopian Government’s effort to create a conducive environment for humanitarian support, peace, and stability in Tigray.
The Deputy Prime Minister said Ethiopia expected the international community, including Canada to force TPLF to respect the humanitarian ceasefire and condemn the group’s destructive actions that continued to obstruct humanitarian support.
The livelihoods disrupted by the fresh attacks by the group and the more than 200,000 displaced people from Afar and Amhara regions should also be a concern to the international community, Mr. Demeke added.
With the new government that will start operation in the upcoming September, Mr. Demeke said there is a plan to carry out all-inclusive dialogues with stakeholders, but the irresponsible group has to be told to stop its attempts of escalating the conflict on new fronts involving child soldiers.