Blinken visits Ethiopia to push peace accord and fix ties
16 March 2023 | 7:33 am
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is visiting Ethiopia to offer backing to the peace process with rebels in the Tigray region. He also wants to strengthen regional relations as China's influence in the area grows.
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Washington and Riyadh have had several disagreements in the past on topics such as Iran, regional security and oil prices. This visit is Blinken's first since the kingdom restored diplomatic ties with Iran.
The top US diplomat is expected to travel to Beijing after a previously planned trip was abruptly canceled. China's foreign minister said "new difficulties" affected their relations since the beginning of the year.
Antony Blinken is the first US secretary of state to visit China in five years. His visit aims to thaw the relationship between the two countries amid rising tensions over industry and Taiwan.
US officials hope Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to China will lower tensions with Beijing. In what was seen as a special gesture, announced at the last minute, the top US diplomat met China's head of state.
Fighting may have stopped in Ethiopia's Tigray region, but people's suffering has not. Supplies of food aid have been disrupted amid a dispute between Ethiopia's main donors and the government.
Sudan's government on Monday refused to join a regional meeting aimed at ending nearly three months of brutal fighting, accusing Kenya, which chaired the talks, of favouring the rival paramilitaries.
China's Wang Yi, Russia's Sergey Lavrov and the US' Antony Blinken, and Southeast Asian ministers are expected at talks. Beijing and Washington have arranged several sets of relatively high-level talks in recent weeks.
Ethiopia recently applied to join BRICS — an economic group comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The body is seen as an alternative to the Bretton Woods institutions and the West's dominance in geopolitics. But can a country like Ethiopia, whose economy is ranked 59th in the world, sit as an equal partner with a country like China, whose economy is ranked second globally?
Antony Blinken became the first US secretary of state to visit Tonga, as Washington continues to increase its diplomatic efforts in the Pacific. Blinken warned the island kingdom about "Chinese ambitions" in the region.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's office issued a state of emergency after days of clashes between security forces and a militia group in the Amhara region.
Armed militias are fighting against Ethiopia's National Defense Forces in the Amhara region. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has declared a state of emergency, and experts warn that the national peace process is in jeopardy.
Authorities in Ethiopia have initiated a crackdown on the LGBTQ+ community. Rights activists have branded it a diversionary tactic in the wake of renewed violence across the country.
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