US Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman says the prime minister’s main goal is to drive the TPLF rebels out of Amhara and Afar regions.
Ambassador Feltman made the remarks while concluding his visit to Ethiopia last night.
He said there was hope that the warring parties would resolve their differences through dialogue.
However, the ambassador expressed concern that efforts to bring the two sides into diplomatic talks would be hampered by changing circumstances.
“I want to be clear.”
“We share this goal,” Feltman said. “On the other hand, the Tigray Defense Forces and the TPLF leaders we spoke to said that our goal is to lift the Ethiopian government’s unofficial humanitarian embargo on Tigray since July (2013). We share that,” he said.
According to Ambassador Feltman, the Federal Government and the TPLF have conveyed a similar message to the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Olusegun Obasanjo, and to other diplomats and leaders.
Feltman explained in a statement yesterday that the fundamental issue is that both goals can be achieved. “If there is political will, both can be achieved. Unfortunately, both sides are trying to achieve their goals militarily. They both believe they are winning,” he said.
The ambassador recalled that the one-year war had caused great human and material damage; He says military action is not the answer.
The Feltman government must be a stumbling block to humanitarian action and a counter-insurgency. He also said that Tigray forces should stop their journey to Addis Ababa.
“Our first and last and only goal in resolving the conflict is to provide diplomatic support. We do not support any group. The rumor that they are on one side is false.”
Ethiopia’s neighbors, the African Union, the United Nations and the international community agree that no time is wasted diplomatically to resolve their differences, Feltman said.
During his meeting with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, Ambassador Feltman stated that they could achieve their goals through negotiations rather than military means.
“They are confident that the Tigray Defense Forces will be able to move north and return to Tigray. But I have a question about that confidence.
Ambassador Feltman said he was encouraged by the military’s efforts to bring Tigray forces to Tigray by military means and that he discussed with the Prime Minister in detail what the diplomatic process would look like.
In addition to Ethiopian government officials during his stay in the Horn of Africa, Feltman said he also met with TPLF leaders in Kenya.
In Ambassador’s discussions with various TPLF leaders: Recognizing that entering Addis Ababa is a danger to the TPLF and the country as a whole, he said he was not interested in entering Addis Ababa.
However, Feltman recalled that the government was suspending humanitarian aid to Tigray.