Remarks With Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
August 5, 2014

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you all very much. I just want to welcome Prime Minister Hailemariam of Ethiopia, who has been enormously engaged with us on many different issues. And I’ve had the privilege now of visiting several times. Most recently, I was there in the spring. And we talked a lot about Ethiopia’s help, very important help, to try to move the process in Sudan and South Sudan. Particularly, Ethiopia has been a leader in bringing countries together to try to effect a ceasefire and move the parties into a negotiation. Ethiopia has also been really key to us with respect to the transition taking place in Somalia – we’re very grateful for that – and frankly, a regional leader.

In addition to that, the United States has committed some $800 million to assist with issues of economic development, education, capacity building, health, and other things. Our relationship is strong and productive, and we’re very, very grateful for their leadership most of all at a difficult time in some difficult places. Thank you, Prime Minister.

PRIME MINISTER DESALEGN: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary of State. I think the relationship between Ethiopia and the United States is deepening, and we have been engaging ourselves in many issues. Like the Secretary said, we are working very hard on pacifying the region, which is the basis for all the engagements and economic development that take place. And peace and stability and security in the region is the pillar of our cooperation at this time.

And beyond that, I think United States and Ethiopia are working very hard to bring investors from the United States, which we have great opportunity this forum and summit, and we have been working with many U.S. companies who are interested to invest in my country. Beyond peace and stability, which is a prerequisite for investment to take place in the region, Ethiopia is also spearheading bringing investors into my country.

And we are also working on continental and global issues like the climate change and food security issues, which you mentioned yesterday. You have had a very good speech, which we go along with you to see that the climate change impact on the continent and specifically also on the Horn of Africa is a most important issue that we have to cooperate. We are also working very hard to fight terrorism and extremism, which is an important issue for all of us. And I thank you very much for your leadership on all these issues, and we are keen to work closely with you on all those issues. Thank you very much.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, Prime Minister. Appreciate it. Thank you very much, everybody.