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Ethiopia Federal Government Visit 'Milestone': TPLF

FILE - Head of the Tigray Forces Lieutenant General Tadesse Werede, left, and Chief of Staff of Ethiopian Armed Forces Field Marshall Birhanu Jula, read a copy of an agreement at Ethiopian peace talks in Nairobi, Nov. 12, 2022.

Leaders of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), the regional government of the war-torn Tigray region, have described Monday's talks with a delegation from the federal government as ''a milestone in the peace agreement'' reached last month.

It is the first high-level federal delegation to travel to Tigray in two years since the conflict began, according to the government.

Getachew Reda, spokesman for the TPLF, said in a tweet Monday that the government's move "to green light the long over due restoration of services is commendable," calling the talks ''fruitful'' with ''important understanding reached."

Tagesse Chafo, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, led the delegation.

A statement by the government communication service said the "gesture is an attestation to the peace agreement getting on the right track and progressing."

The visit included ministers and heads of public enterprises such as Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Ethiopian Airlines and Ethiotelecom.

The Ethiopian federal government and Tigrayan forces signed an African Union-sponsored agreement on Nov. 2 to permanently end hostilities, after two years of fighting that killed thousands and displaced millions of people in East Africa's largest country.

A follow-up deal on the disarmament of TPLF fighters, humanitarian access guarantees and entry of the Ethiopian military into the Tigrayan capital of Mekelle was signed on Nov. 12.