The leaders have discussed ways to accelerate dialogue for a negotiated ceasefire and the necessity of addressing the human rights concerns in Ethiopia's Tigray region.
US President Joe Biden has expressed concerns about detentions and reports of civilian killings in Ethiopia's Tigray region during a phone call with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Biden welcomed the release of opposition leaders in Ethiopia and promised support for resolving the Tigray war in a call with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the White House said on Monday.
The White House also said that Biden raised concerns to Abiy about recent air strikes that continue to cause civilian casualties and suffering in Africa's second most populous nation.
The statement added that the leaders “discussed ways to accelerate dialogue toward a negotiated ceasefire" and "the urgency of improving humanitarian access across Ethiopia."
They also discussed "the need to address the human rights concerns of all affected Ethiopians, including concerns about detentions of Ethiopians under the state of emergency.”
READ MORE: Aid groups halt work in Ethiopia's Tigray after air strike
I held a candid phone conversation with @POTUS on current issues in 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.— Abiy Ahmed Ali 🇪🇹 (@AbiyAhmedAli) January 10, 2022
Abiy on Twitter described the conversation with Biden as “candid” and both agreed “there is great value in strengthening our cooperation through constructive engagement founded on mutual respect.”
The leaders’ call comes days after Ethiopia’s government announced an amnesty for some of the country’s most high-profile political detainees, including opposition figure Jawar Mohammed and senior Tigray party officials.
Previously, Biden announced in November he was moving to cut Ethiopia from a US trade program over its failure to end the conflict in the Tigray region that has led to “gross violations” of human rights.
The more than year-long war has created a devastating humanitarian crisis.
The conflict entered a new phase in late December when Tigray forces retreated into their region amid a Tigray military offensive and Ethiopian forces said they would not advance further there.
READ MORE: Tigray rebels claim dozens dead in airstrike on IDP camp