Addis Ababa: Blinken to Meet with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will hold talks today in Addis Ababa with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to renew historic ties between the two countries.

This is the first visit by a senior US official to Ethiopia since November 2020 when the war between the federal government and rebel authorities in Tigray began, and ended due to the signing of a peace agreement in Pretoria on 2 November.

Diplomatic sources said Washington played a crucial role in brokering the peace agreement, which was signed under the auspices of the African Union (AU).

Blinken will also meet his Ethiopian counterpart and Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen. On Thursday, the US diplomatic chief will meet with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AU), Moussa Faki.

The Ethiopian leaders should negotiate with Mr. Blinken the return of Ethiopia among the beneficiaries of the Agoa, a U.S. initiative that exempts some African countries from taxes on their exports and from which it is excluded since January 2022.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for ending 20 years of open conflict with neighboring Eritrea by sending the federal army to Tigray in 2020, which was led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a party that had de facto ruled Ethiopia from 1991 to 2018, before being marginalized with the arrival of Mr. Abiy.

Jihan Rmili

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