I welcome today’s release from prison in Ethiopia of numerous detainees, including key opposition figures.
I call upon the parties to build on this significant confidence-building step by agreeing a cessation of hostilities and a lasting ceasefire, as well as launching a credible and inclusive national dialogue and reconciliation process. I will remain actively engaged with all stakeholders in assisting Ethiopia to bring an end to the fighting and to restore peace and stability.
Following my last contact with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, I also look forward to a meaningful improvement in humanitarian access to all areas affected by the year-long conflict.
On the occasion of the Orthodox Christmas, I extend my warm wishes to all those Ethiopians who are celebrating. May the spirit of this celebration contribute to a peaceful and prosperous Ethiopia.