ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday backed a peaceful resolution for the Tigray conflict in Ethiopia that has displaced tens of thousands and left millions hungry. He also said Turkey was willing to mediate between Ethiopia and Sudan to resolve a separate border dispute.
Erdogan spoke during a joint news conference with visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The visit comes amid a broadening of the conflict in Tigray, which began in November after a political fallout between Abiy and the leaders of the Tigray region who had dominated Ethiopia’s government for nearly three decades.
Thousands have been killed in the nine-month war in Tigray that has been marked by widespread allegations by ethnic Tigrayans of gang rapes, manmade local famines and mass expulsions of Tigrayans by Ethiopian and allied forces.
“The peace, tranquility and integrity of Ethiopia, which has a strategic location and importance in Africa, is important to us,” Erdogan said. “All the countries in the region will be affected by the worsening of the situation (over Tigray).”
Erdogan, who hosted General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan, chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, in Ankara last week, said Turkey was also prepared to contribute toward a peaceful resolution of a dispute between Ethiopia and Sudan over the Al-Fashaga region.
“We are ready to make any contribution to an amicable resolution of the problem, including mediation,” he said.
On Wednesday, Erdogan and Abiy oversaw the signing of military agreements, including a military financial cooperation deal. Details of the deals were not immediately available.