The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Statement by the President on the Death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia

It was with sadness that I learned of the passing of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia.  Prime Minister Meles deserves recognition for his lifelong contribution to Ethiopia’s development, particularly his unyielding commitment to Ethiopia’s poor.  I met with Prime Minister Meles at the G-8 Summit in May and recall my personal admiration for his desire to lift millions of Ethiopians out of poverty through his drive for food security.  I am also grateful for Prime Minister Meles’s service for peace and security in Africa, his contributions to the African Union, and his voice for Africa on the world stage.  On behalf of the American people, I offer my condolences to Prime Minister Meles’ family and to the people of Ethiopia on this untimely loss, and confirm the U.S. Government’s commitment to our partnership with Ethiopia.  Going forward, we encourage the Government of Ethiopia to enhance its support for development, democracy, regional stability and security, human rights, and prosperity for its people.

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