US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Ethiopia today for talks with the leaders of the Ethiopian government and
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Ethiopia today for talks with the leaders of the Ethiopian government and Tigrayans.
The trip comes amid continuing concerns about the implementation of the peace process following the two-year Tigray war. Currently, foreigners remain in the region while bureaucratic obstacles hinder the humanitarian response.
Blinken plans to tell Ethiopia that it must advance the recently brokered peace accord—which requires the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to disarm in the face of an offensive by the government—if the nation hopes to restore ties with the US. He will also meet with Tigrayan officials, civil society, and humanitarian groups to discuss humanitarian assistance, food security, human rights, and debt restructuring. Blinken will likely launch a new humanitarian aid package.
The Biden administration hopes to restore peace, and therefore US-Ethiopian relations, as it becomes increasingly interested in engagement with Africa. Washington is working to develop partnerships with countries in the region amid competition with China, which has worked to expand its influence by funding infrastructure projects on the continent. During the visit, Blinken will meet with African Union Commission chair Moussa Faki in an attempt to blunt China’s attempts for closer coordination.