PM Hailemariam, Angela Merkel hold telephonic conversation

Addis Ababa, February 13, 2018 (FBC) - Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn yesterday held a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

According to Mr. Steffen Seibert, Spokesperson of the Government of Germany, the two sides discussed political developments in the country, among others.

The Chancellor welcomed that the Ethiopian government released a larger number of people since the beginning of this year.

She encouraged the Premier to take further steps in widening the democratic space in the country, including further releases of prisoners.

Ethiopia recently released 115 suspects at the federal level, including Dr Merera Gudina. And last week, it also pardoned 417 federal suspects and inmates, including Eskindr Nega and Andualem Arage.

Yesterday, the Federal Attorney General dropped charges against seven suspects, including Bekele Geraba.

Regional states also released a large number of suspects and inmates.

During her visit to Ethiopia in 2016, Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Hailemariam discussed on range of issues including, peace and security, migration and refugees, development, democracy and good governance and trade and investment as well as current situation in Ethiopia.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the geo-political complexity of the Horn of Africa and the imperative to work together to bring lasting peace in Somalia and South Sudan.

The Chancellor praised Ethiopia for hosting such large numbers of refugees and promised to mobilize finance for efforts to assist migrants and refugees.

They agreed to work to control illegal human trafficking, and in finding solutions to unemployment problems.