Turkish President Erdogan offers to mediate end to Ethiopia fighting

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday offered to help mediate an end to fighting in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, vowing to protect the northeast African country’s “integrity.”

Erdogan told visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed that the war-hit country’s “peace and integrity is important to us.”

“If the situation deteriorates, all countries in the region will be affected,” Erdogan told a joint media appearance with Abiy.

“As Turkey, we are ready to make every contribution to the problem’s solution, including mediation,” Erdogan said.

Ankara and Addis Ababa have friendly relations and the two leaders vowed to boost economic cooperation and trade.

Abiy said the two countries’ relationship was built on “mutual respect and trust.”

But the two leaders announced no specific agreements or deals.

Northern Ethiopia has been wracked by fighting since last November, when Ahmed sent troops to topple the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the region’s then ruling party.

Tens of thousands of Ethiopians have fled to refugee camps in Sudan, to escape a conflict that the UN says has pushed 400,000 people into famine-like conditions.

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