Source: State Department
[Only the parts of the briefing relating to Ethiopia have been extracted]
It follows these Tweets from Secretary of State Joe Blinken on 23 March 2021
MS PORTER: Thanks for your questions, Matt. I’ll start off by saying we can definitely take your question in regards to Senator Coons and his visit to Ethiopia. For the other two, we’ll definitely have to get back to you.
But just to talk about that trip, Senator Coons had a successful visit when he traveled to Ethiopia, and obviously on behalf of President Biden. He went there, obviously, as a presidential emissary and expressed concerns – he expressed our concern for the ongoing crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
And the reason we’re calling it successful is because Prime Minister Abiy publicly committed to deepening in a meaningful dialogue with the international community to address this conflict in Tigray, and he also shared publicly that he condemns the human rights violations that are going on. And again, we are grateful for Senator Coons traveling on our behalf to Ethiopia…
MS PORTER: Thanks for your question. I definitely want to reiterate that Senator Coons had successful meetings in Ethiopia, and they were productive. I mean, him meeting with Prime Minister Abiy on a range of issues, including making sure that Prime Minister Abiy’s views on human rights violations were public, that was – underscored how important those meetings were and how much we appreciate the senator for taking his time to travel there.
And we’ll also say that Prime Minister Abiy has consistently reiterated that – his government’s commitment to provide unhindered humanitarian access and to also move forward the notification system for humanitarian operators to travel throughout Tigray was welcomed from Senator Coons. And again, we will continue to underscore that – Prime Minister Abiy’s humanitarian operators’ need for both extended visas as well as to continue to progress on outstanding issues as well. So again, this was just a first step, but it was a first step in the right direction. So if there are any updates later, we’ll be sure to make those available.