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Volume 687: debated on Tuesday 19 January 2021

The British Government remain concerned at the continued conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, and I urge both sides to end fighting, protect civilians and allow unfettered humanitarian access. The Foreign Secretary has stressed those points directly to Prime Minister Abiy, and to Deputy Prime Minister Demeke when he visited the UK recently.

Mrs Peta Benson, a constituent of mine, has supported an orphanage in Tigray for years. Like many, we are extremely worried by the reported appalling humanitarian crisis that conflicts have brought to the region. Can my hon. Friend tell me that every effort is being made by the British Government to calm those hostilities and further de-escalate civil war in that region of Ethiopia?

I thank my hon. Friend for his activity on this issue and can reassure him that we are making such efforts. I certainly underlined the need to end the fighting and prioritise the protection of civilians when I spoke to the Ethiopian Finance Minister last month, and I have also raised the issue of the conflict with regional leaders in the past few weeks. The Foreign Secretary and I will continue to raise these points, and I thank my hon. Friend for the contribution he is making to the debate.