July 21, 2022 (ENA) The renowned athlete Haile Gebre Selassie said the federal government’s initiative to give peace a chance by holding peaceful talks to end the conflict in northern Ethiopia will solidify the existence and interest of the country.

The celebrated athlete, who is widely known for voicing his opinions on national affairs, appreciated the commitment of the government to end the northern conflict peacefully.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, he said “I would like to thank the Government of Ethiopia for the peaceful option it came up to solve the conflict with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.  As for me, I have no problem with settling differences through a peaceful means with anyone who wants to discuss.”  

The Government of Ethiopia has been trying to solve the differences through dialogue from the very beginning.

Recently it pledged to end the conflict in the northern part of the country peacefully, and it has formed a peace committee under the chairmanship of the Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen.

The peace committee announced last week that it has started work by forming sub-committees and assigning duties and responsibilities.

In this regard, the world-renowned athlete Haile Gebre Selassie lauded the commitment of the government in taking actions for peaceful resolution of the conflict in the northern part of the country.

However, he stressed that Ethiopia’s interest should always be at the center of any peace talk.

“I don’t accept a peace dialogue with guns on the one hand and pretending to be the dove on the other. That doesn’t work. Sitting to discuss peace that brings Ethiopia’s interest to the fore is crucial. Ethiopia should always be at the center of any discussion.”

According to him, prolonging the conflict would exacerbate the suffering of the already depleted population in northern Ethiopia.  

A year ago Ethiopia was under unwarranted international pressure following the conflict, the world-renowned athlete.

“People at the international fora talked about a failed state and Ethiopia as a country near disintegration. Not only that, many countries shutdown their embassies and tried to move to other countries. But Ethiopia did not and will  never fall apart.”  

Acknowledging that Ethiopia is still going through a very difficult time, Haile hoped that this resilient nation will definitely overcome the difficulties.

The athlete finally urged the international community and Ethiopians to support the effort that the country has been reinforcing to nurture peace and stability.  

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