On December 15, the U.S.Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Tom Malinowski, and Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu joined co-chairs State Minister of the Ministry of ForeignAffairs Hirut Zemeneand the U.S. Chargé d'Affaires to Ethiopia,Peter Vrooman, for the 7th Bilateral Democracy, Governance and Human Rights Working Group. The Working Groupprovides an opportunity for representatives ofthe U.S. government and the government of Ethiopiatodiscuss frankly the full range of governance and human rights issues.
The discussion at this Working Group addressed a broad range of issues, including the Ethiopian government's commitment to pursue electoral reform, as stated by HE. Dr. Mulatu Teshome, President of the FDRE, respect for constitutional rights and obligations and prospects for dialogue under the state of emergency, the need to support a strong and vibrant media, ways to counter hate speech while respecting basic freedoms, the important role of civil society in strengthening good governance, and the annual U.S. Human Rights Report.
Both sides welcomed the frank exchange of views during the discussion.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the two governments agreed to continue regularly the Working Group meetings.