US President Joe Biden spoke to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Monday about the latest developments in the war-torn African country.
Ahmed tweeted that he held a “candid” phone call with Biden on Ethiopia, “bilateral relations as well as regional matters.”
“We both agree there is great value in strengthening our cooperation through constructive engagement founded on mutual respect,” the Ethiopian premier said.
The White House said Biden commended Abiy for releasing several political prisoners while both leaders discussed ways to “accelerate dialogue toward a negotiated ceasefire, the urgency of improving humanitarian access across Ethiopia, and the need to address the human rights concerns of all affected Ethiopians.”
The US president also voiced concern over recent airstrikes and the killing of civilians.
“Both leaders underscored the importance of the US-Ethiopia relationship, the potential to strengthen cooperation on a range of issues, and the need for concrete progress to resolve the conflict,” the White House said.
Biden has increased US diplomatic efforts in Africa, specifically appointing a special envoy for the Horn of Africa.
Veteran diplomat Jeffrey Feltman took on the post last year but announced his decision to step down last week.
The outgoing US ambassador to Turkey, David Satterfield, will take over for Feltman.