March 8, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today spoke with Demeke Mekonnen, Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Minister Garneau expressed Canada’s concern regarding the continued crisis in Tigray region and its impact on millions of civilians. Minister Garneau reiterated the critical importance of ensuring all civilians, including refugees, are protected and can access the life-saving humanitarian assistance they urgently need. He welcomed efforts by Ethiopia to expand access for humanitarian assistance and journalists and to restore critical services and infrastructure. He further urged Ethiopia to allow humanitarian actors to deploy and use essential telecommunications equipment such as satellite phones in Tigray.
Minister Garneau shared Canada’s deep concern regarding credible reports of human rights violations and abuses, including sexual and gender-based violence. He took note of the important efforts of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and welcomed Ethiopia’s commitment to hold perpetrators accountable and provide justice for victims and survivors. Minister Garneau welcomed Ethiopia’s commitment to credible, transparent, independent and impartial investigations and offered Canada’s full support toward this end.
The ministers took this opportunity to re-affirm the deep and enduring friendship between Canada and Ethiopia, noting the recent call between the countries’ prime ministers, as well as their mutual support for Ethiopia’s ongoing reform agenda.