Ethiopian Abiy Ahmed talks “frankly” with US President Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden held talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Monday about the latest developments in the war-torn African country.

Ahmed tweeted that he had a “candid” phone call with Biden about Ethiopia, “bilateral relations as well as regional issues.”

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“We both agree that it is very important to strengthen our cooperation through a constructive engagement based on mutual respect,” said the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.

The White House said Biden congratulated Abiy on the release of several political prisoners while the two leaders discussed ways “to accelerate the dialogue towards a negotiated ceasefire, the urgency of improving the humanitarian access across Ethiopia and the need to address the human rights concerns of all affected Ethiopians. ”

The US president also expressed his concern over recent airstrikes and the killing of civilians.

“The two leaders stressed the importance of the US-Ethiopia relationship, the potential to strengthen cooperation on a range of issues and the need for concrete progress to resolve the conflict,” the White House said.

Biden has stepped up US diplomatic efforts in Africa, specifically appointing a special envoy to the Horn of Africa.

Veteran diplomat Jeffrey Feltman took office last year, but announced his decision to step down last week.

Outgoing US Ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield will replace Feltman.

Read more: United States to welcome withdrawal of rebels from Tigray in northern Ethiopia

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