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Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Departure remarks
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, December 10, 1997
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State

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It has been a great pleasure to begin my African travel in Addis Ababa.

Sixty years ago, Ethiopia’s fight to preserve its independence captured the attention of the world -- and earned the admiration of my generation.

Today, Ethiopia is again earning the world’s admiration, this time for its strides in reforming, rebuilding, and re-uniting at home and its leadership for peace and unity across Africa.

Together, our two nations are working to resolve conflicts, strengthen the rule of law, and promote development in Africa. In all those ways, we are building strong new partnerships between Africans and Americans. And we agree on the importance of building more open and effective cooperation between the international community and the peoples and nations of this continent.

I complimented Prime Minister Meles on Ethiopia’s support for African peacekeeping missions and the development of African crisis prevention capabilities as well as his leadership at the Organization for African Unity and the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD). The United States strongly supports the Prime Minister’s initiative at the OAU to create an eminent persons group to study the recent genocide in the Great Lakes, examine the international community’s response, and propose ways we can all do better in the future.

We also welcome the important efforts IGAD is making to bring peace and stability to the Sudan and Somalia; and we will continue to support IGAD’s revitalization, and other regional programs, through President Clinton’s Greater Horn of Africa Initiative.

We have just made a donation of $200,000 to the IGAD Peace Fund, which will be used to support the efforts of this promising regional partnership to develop African responses to African problems.

The United States and Ethiopia are building a broad partnership in support of Ethiopian development. Through President Clinton’s Partnership for Economic Growth and Opportunity, we will work to create new opportunities for bilateral trade and investment, building the power of the private sector.

We are supporting the impressive growth of Ethiopia’s food production. And we are working with the Government to strengthen its own emergency preparedness and response system.

The United States is also working with Ethiopians to help democracy put down deep roots. Existing programs support training for local officials and judicial system reform. We have just agreed to provide $8 million toward primary education. And I was very pleased to see, in my visit to the Entoto School, the efforts that young Ethiopians are making to become vigorous practitioners of democracy.

As part of an effort to strengthen democratic institutions and the rule of law throughout the Great Lakes region, I have announced the creation of a $30 million Great Lakes Justice Initiative, to focus on building up the independence and credibility of judicial systems and to support reconciliation initiatives throughout the region.

I encouraged Prime Minister Meles to continue to work on Ethiopia’s own very challenging democratic transformation, by building and supporting democratic institutions and protecting civil and political rights.

Governments like Ethiopia’s are writing a new chapter in African history. We have before us a great opportunity to begin a new chapter in our partnership, and to make great strides in pursuing the goals we share. What I have heard and seen in Ethiopia leaves me confident that, although there is a great deal of work ahead, we are moving in the right direction.

[End of Document]

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