ABABA, Ethiopia — Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs Tibor P. Nagy and U.S. Marine Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, commander of United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), met with Ethiopian leaders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Nov. 28.
During the visit the leaders discussed Ethiopia’s recent positive steps toward broad reform.
“We welcome and are ready to support the progress Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has begun,” said Nagy. “This is a new and unprecedented opportunity to advance our shared interests. We look forward to working with all Ethiopians to achieve these goals, which is why the U.S. continues to invest in the people of Ethiopia.”
Utilizing a whole-of-government approach, the United States has actively supported Ethiopians and their future by investing U.S. resources in development and capacity-building projects, as opposed to participating in mostly procurement ventures which other external actors offer. For example, every day Ethiopians walk into U.S. funded health centers, use educational materials that the United States helped develop and publish, use water from access points provided by the U.S. government, and grow their livelihoods using training and resources sponsored by the United States.
In addition, Ethiopia and the United States enjoy a strong partnership on security issues, which is why Nagy and Waldhauser met with Ethiopia’s Minister of Defense Aisha Mohammed, the first woman to hold that position in the country.
“We appreciate the robust partnerships we have with our Ethiopian partners,” said Waldhauser. “We have common security interests, particularly focused on countering the threat of violent extremism in East Africa and ensuring stability for our partners in the region.”
Ethiopia remains the world’s largest contributor to global peacekeeping forces in Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan. The nation also plays a crucial role in regional security; a role that is all the more important following Ethiopia’s recent rapprochement with Eritrea and renewed outreach with the governments of Djibouti and Somalia.
In addition to meeting with Minister of Defense Aisha, Waldhauser participated in high-level discussions with General Birhanu, Ethiopia’s Deputy Chief of General Staff. Waldhauser also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael Raynor and the U.S. Ambassador to the African Union Mary Beth Leonard.
“AFRICOM is focused on strengthening mutually beneficial relationships, such as the one we have here in Ethiopia,” said Waldhauser. “Alongside our Department of State counterparts and our international allies, we seek to improve and expand upon these relationships to further the security, stability, and prosperity of our African partners.”
Following his visit to East Africa, Nagy is scheduled to travel to AFRICOM headquarters located in Stuttgart, Germany, where he will participate in interagency discussions on future diplomatic and development efforts with Waldhauser and other AFRICOM leaders.