Brussels, 4 July 2022
President Charles Michel spoke on the phone with Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed to follow-up on their meeting in the margins of the AU-EU Summit and on the recent visit of Commissioner Lenarcic to the country.
President Charles Michel took note of the recent efforts to improve humanitarian access in Tigray since the humanitarian truce. President Michel stressed that these efforts should be increased and sustained, notably via alternative roads and restoration of basic services, notably telecommunications. The President also highlighted that fuel and fertilisers are urgently needed to fight food insecurity which is a major consequence of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The President recalled that the EU recently pledged EUR 633 ml to address food insecurity in the Horn of Africa.
The Prime Minister underlined his efforts to address the crisis with Tigray, both at the political level and from a humanitarian standpoint.
President Michel encouraged the Prime Minister to engage in inclusive peace talks as soon as possible. He echoed the EU’s hope for a positive outcome of this process given the strategic importance of Ethiopia for the stability of the region.
The President said that the recent efforts made by the Ethiopian authorities to cooperate with the UN did not go unnoticed by the EU and recalled the importance of accountability and justice for human rights.
The President and the Prime Minister discussed relations with Sudan and negotiations with partners on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Damn (GERD). The President underlined the importance of peaceful relations among neighbours and choosing dialogue as the privileged measure to resolve disputes. On Sudan, the President explained this had also been conveyed last week to General Burhan by the EU. The Prime Minister referred to ongoing discussions in the framework of the joint border commission to negotiate and demarcate borders. As regards the GERD, the President said that the EU supports a negotiated solution that is mutually acceptable by all sides.
Both the President and the Prime Minister valued their open and frank exchange and agreed to speak in the near future to take stock.
Source – EU Council