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SPLM-IO leader meets Ethiopia’s FM before his meeting with S. Sudan Kiir

Ethiopian FM receives Machar at his office in Addis Ababa on 20 June 2018 Ethiopian (FM Photo)
June 20, 2018 (ADDIS ABABA) - Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu Wednesday met with the SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar ahead of a meeting with his rival President Salva Kiir in Addis Ababa.

Machar arrived in the early morning to Addis Ababa where he was received by Mrs Hirut Zemene, Ethiopia’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In a statement released this afternoon, the foreign ministry said Minister Gebeyehu held talks with Machar on the IGAD’s efforts to revitalize the peace process in South Sudan.

"Workneh added, albeit the slow progress of the High-Level Revitalization Process, “We are, to a great extent, encouraged by the progress we have witnessed over the past one year,” said the statement.

Kiir and Machar are expected to discuss the outstanding issues in the implementation of the power-sharing in the 2015 peace agreement especially the cabinet composition, the parliament and the state governments.

The regional body is keen to narrow the gaps between the two mains parties to the revitalization process saying the outcome of the face-to-face meeting should be the driving force towards the end of the war and the peace implementation process.

According to the statement, Machar expressed his own and his party’s keenness to bring about peace in the country.

"I am ready to bestow what is expected from me," said Machar.

The outcome of the face-to-face meeting will be discussed Thursday by the IGAD Council of Ministers that Gebeyehu chairs, following what the IGAD heads of states and governments will meet to endorse what the conclusions submitted by the Council of Ministers.