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Ethiopia: Amid diplomatic tensions, US ambassador describes Ethiopia-US relations as ‘strong’

Addis Ababa — In the wake of a recent political speech by U.S. Ambassador Ervin J. Massinga, which Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry characterized as “ill-advised” and containing “misinformed statements,” Ambassador Massinga sought to ensure the continuity of the positive relationships.

During a recent media roundtable, Ambassador Massinga stated that the relationship between the United States and Ethiopia remains “strong.”

During the May 22, 2024 event, Ambassador Massinga addressed questions about the current US focus on the Amhara region, stating that the focus is consistent with the approach taken during the Tigray War.

He stressed that the US government is equally concerned about all Ethiopians and that the Tigray war highlighted the need for humanitarian assistance in all affected regions.

The Ambassador also spoke about Ethiopia’s efforts to secure access to a seaport, highlighting the importance of a reliable port to the country’s growing economy and trade.

He pledged US support to strengthen Ethiopia’s relations with neighboring countries such as Djibouti and Kenya and stressed the need for an official platform to facilitate ongoing discussions on this issue.

In a recent policy speech delivered at the “American Gibbi” Yemeni Community School in Addis Ababa on May 15, Ambassador Massinga addressed the current security situation, national dialogue, and transitional justice initiatives in Ethiopia.

He urged the Ethiopian government to adopt a more peaceful approach to resolve complex political issues and release key political figures to facilitate much-needed political dialogue. Massinga also called for an end to the detention and harassment of government critics.

Additionally, the ambassador addressed several armed groups in conflict with the government, including the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and the Fano militia in Amhara. He called for a “temporary nationwide ceasefire” to facilitate humanitarian access.

However, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized Ambassador Massinga’s speech, calling it “reckless” and containing “uninformed statements” about the government’s management of the country’s affairs.

In a press release issued on May 16, 2024, the Ministry stated that the ambassador’s statement contained “unsolicited accusations and advice to the government of Ethiopia on how best to manage the country’s affairs.”