Ethiopia expels four Irish diplomats as Tigray conflict escalates

In addition, Britain called on its nationals to leave Ethiopia immediately.

 Police officers walk amongst civilians at the Meskel Square in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia February 21, 2018 (photo credit: TIKSA NEGERI / REUTERS)
Police officers walk amongst civilians at the Meskel Square in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia February 21, 2018
(photo credit: TIKSA NEGERI / REUTERS)

Ethiopia has expelled four of six Irish diplomats from the country because of Ireland's stance on the conflict there, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Wednesday.

"I deeply regret this decision by the government of Ethiopia," Coveney said in a statement.

"Our engagement internationally on Ethiopia, including at the Security Council, has been consistent with the positions and statements made by the European Union," Coveney added. 

Simon Coveney, Foreign Affairs and Defense Minister for Ireland (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)Simon Coveney, Foreign Affairs and Defense Minister for Ireland (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Britain on Wednesday called on its nationals to leave Ethiopia immediately due to an intensification of conflict in the East African country.

"In the coming days we may see the fighting move closer to Addis Ababa, which could severely limit options for British Nationals to leave Ethiopia," Britain's minister for Africa, Vicky Ford, said.

"Those who choose not to leave now should make preparations to shelter in a place of safety over the coming weeks. We cannot guarantee there will be options to leave Ethiopia in the future."