Abiy revealed the formation of the body during an address to parliament on Tuesday 14 June in his fullest remarks yet on the peace process, after 19 months of fighting with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
It is led by Demeke Mekonnen, a key ally of Abiy who serves as deputy prime minister and minister for foreign affairs.
“Negotiation is not simple, it needs a lot of work,” Abiy told parliament. “A committee has been established to study how and what conditions to negotiate.”
Government officials had previously ruled out negotiating with the TPLF, which is outlawed as a terrorist group, and vigorously denied recent rumours that talks are already underway.
For the economy
According to diplomats in Addis Ababa, there have been a series of talks between the military commanders of both sides in recent months, but contact between political leaders is yet to take place.
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