Tigrai Online, July 25, 2013
Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter met with senior government and military leaders here to discuss the U.S.-Ethiopia security partnership and shared interests in East African security challenges, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said today in a statement.
Carter’s July 23-24 visit to this Horn of Africa country was the final leg of a three-country trip that began in Israel and included a stop in Uganda.
The deputy secretary is the highest-ranking Defense Department official to visit Ethiopia in more than a decade, Little said.
“My visit here to Addis represents not only the increasing importance we place on our partnership with Ethiopia, but the importance we place on the role of the African Union also in addressing Africa’s security challenges, be it Somalia, Mali, the troubled Sudans, or the Central African Republic,” Carter said after a meeting last night with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Carter characterized the U.S.-Ethiopia partnership as an important bilateral relationship and expressed gratitude to Hailemariam for the critical role Ethiopia has played in addressing regional challenges in Somalia and the Sudans.
“Ethiopia and the United States have shared interests in these countries and we continue to explore additional ways that we can work together to tackle East Africa’s security challenges,” the deputy secretary said.
“I’d like to note that my government recognizes Africa’s strategic importance,” he added, “and we at the Department of Defense recognize its strategic importance today and [for] the future.”
Carter and Hailemariam also discussed next steps in response to recent events in South Sudan and exchanged views on the African Peace and Security Architecture, maritime security, and conflicts in Somalia, Mali, the Central African Republic and Africa’s Great Lakes region. The African Peace and Security Architecture is an ongoing Africa-AU framework for crisis management on the African continent.
Source: Read more at US Department of Defense - http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=120520