Obama, Ethiopia PM vow to step up bilateral cooperation| MENAFN.COM

Wednesday, 29 June 2022 01:33 GMT

Obama, Ethiopia PM vow to step up bilateral cooperation


(MENAFN- The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) The U.S. and Ethiopia have agreed to step up cooperation in the fields of security, economy and democratization, U.S. President Barack Obama declared at a joint press conference in Addis Ababa held Monday with the Ethiopian prime minister.

Obama arrived in the Ethiopian capital on Sunday for a three-day visit € the first-ever visit to the country by a sitting U.S. president.

At a joint press conference with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn € held following a closed-door discussion € the two men vowed to step up bilateral cooperation on economic issues; poverty alleviation; regional security; the fight against terrorism; and the search for peace in South Sudan.

"Ethiopia faces security threats," Obama said, going on to praise what he described as Ethiopia's military efficiency and the country's contributions to global peacekeeping efforts.

He also mentioned Sunday's deadly attack in Somali capital Mogadishu, saying such acts of terrorism € which have become almost daily occurrences in the Horn of Africa region € "have to be stopped."

S. Sudan, Somalia

Noting that Ethiopia was currently hosting hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese refugees, Obama warned that "Conditions on the ground [in South Sudan] are getting much, much worse."

He went on to say that the U.S. and its partners "will have to consider what other tools we have" if a peace deal isn't reached by the country's warring factions by an August 17 deadline.

Desalegn, for his part, asserted: "We have agreed to work closely on South Sudan to bring lasting peace to the conflict-ridden country."

"We have also both agreed to work together in building peace in Somalia by helping state institutions and by strengthening Somali security forces," he said.

The Ethiopian PM added: "We have agreed to intensify the campaign against terrorism in the region and we both noted with satisfaction the progress AMISOM forces and the Somalia National Army are making € with the support of the U.S. and other partners € in the fight against Al-Shabaab."

-Democratization

On the issue of democratization, meanwhile, Obama said: "We [the two heads of state] have raised a number of issues on how the U.S. can support the strengthening of Ethiopia's democratization process."

"My government has expressed its commitment to deepening the democratic process already underway in the country and working towards respect for human rights and improving governance," Obama declared.

"We have reiterated once again that our commitment to democracy is real," the U.S. president stressed.


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