U.S. State Department Secretary Antony Blinken on Tuesday talked to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and stressed on the importance of the cessation of hostilities in war-embattled Tigray, reported The Reuters.
Blinken noted the need for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Ethiopia, referring to Eritrea’s participation in the war in support of Addis Ababa.
“The Secretary underscored the importance of immediately implementing the cessation of hostilities agreement, including withdrawal of all foreign forces and concurrent disarmament of the Tigrayan forces,” the U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a press release.
According to the spokesperson, Blinken acknowledged the Ethiopian government’s continued efforts to work towards unimpeded humanitarian assistance and the restoration of basic services in war-affected areas.
The U.S. State Department also reiterated its commitment to support the African Union-led process including its monitoring and verification mechanism of the peace agreement.
Earlier this month, the Ethiopian government and Tigrayan rebel leaders agreed to cease their two-year conflict. The conflict, which began in November 2020, has led to thousands of deaths and warnings of a famine. The Abiy government ordered an offensive against the TPLF group after accusing them for an attack on the army’s main base in Mekelle.
Mr Abiy has already reiterated his government’s commitment to the peace deal. On Tuesday, the Ethiopian government said it is fully complying with its responsibilities as part of the ceasefire agreement with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) after nearly two years of conflict in the northern part of the country.
Legesse Tulu, the head of the Government Communications Service, defended that lasting peace will be achieved if there is will on the part of both the sides and advocated “healing the wounds”. He said the government is facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid in Tigray, one of Addis Ababa’s key commitments.