Foreign Envoys Arrives In Ethiopian

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The European Union has sent foreign envoys to the northern Ethiopian city of Mekelle, the capital of the embattled Tigray region.

This is the envoys’ first joint mission to the city, and it comes amid encouraging signs of possible peace talks between the federal government and Tigrayan forces.

The envoy includes the EU’s special representative, Annette Weber, and her US counterpart, Mike Hammer.

“Political dialogue is necessary to resolve the conflict in northern Ethiopia and achieve durable peace,” a joint statement by the diplomats.

While the two envoys welcomed “public commitment by both parties to engage in talks” they also called for the immediate restoration of basic services in the region such as electricity, telecommunications, and banking.

Most of Tigray has been without these services for more than a year.

Tigrayan forces have been calling for the resumption of the services, but a senior government official said last week that Addis Ababa was ready for the talks “without preconditions.”

The visit is part of international efforts to see a peaceful resolution to a 21-month-old civil war.

 

BBC/CO

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