Addis Ababa is preparing to welcome President Barack Obama who is due scheduled to arrive today July 26. The historical visit of U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to commence this evening Sunday July 26. Even though the two countries have a century long diplomatic relation, the current visit is the first state visit to Ethiopia by a US sitting president.
The president is expected to held talks with Ethiopian authorities on regional security, mainly on combating terrorism and instability in South Sudan. According to the schedule on Monday the president and Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn will discuss economic and other issues including human rights and democracy.
The president will also visit the new AU headquarter and will meet with Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the Africa Union Commission on Tuesday July 28. On his visit to the AU, President Obama will address the continent.
The relation of the two countries has grown in the past years. Ethiopia is one of US ally in the fight against terrorism. The country is one of the major forces that fight the Somalia based al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab.
Ambassador Susan E. Rice the President’s National Security Advisor during a press briefing said “on Monday, in Ethiopia, the President will take part again in a bilateral program with the government of Ethiopia, including an arrival ceremony, bilateral meetings with the President and the Prime Minister, as well as a press conference with the Ethiopian Prime Minister and a state dinner. I also expect that the President will take part in a summit meeting with a handful of regional leaders on shared priorities, particularly the crisis in South Sudan and regional counterterrorism issues.”
“On Tuesday, our final day, the President will participate in a civil society roundtable, and he will speak before the African Union, which, as you know, is headquartered in Addis. The President will hold a bilateral meeting with the chairwoman of the African Union Commission and during that day will also have the opportunity to highlight some of our sustainable development initiatives, including in food security, as well as the work we’re doing to deepen economic and trade cooperation with Ethiopia in the broader region” she added.
“So obviously this will be a busy several days, but we — the President, his entire national security team – are very much looking forward to the opportunity to build on the momentum from last year’s African Leaders Summit and to advance our strong and growing ties with the African continent” she added.
Some human right activists and US media outlets have been criticizing the president’s visit to the horn Africa.
“Despite its many challenges – and we have to be clear-eyed about all the challenges that the continent still faces – Africa is a place of incredible dynamism, some of the fastest-growing markets in the world, extraordinary people, extraordinary resilience,” Obama said before heading off for the trip.
At the evening of Friday, July 24 the president has arrived at Nairobi to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. He also discussed with the Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta about regional security and trade relation on Saturday July 25.
Security in and around Addis has also stepped up. US Helicopters are also seen circling Addis Ababa in the last two days.
Seven decades ago in the ending of World War II the US president Franklin D. Roosevelt and Emperor Haile Selassie met on US vessel Quincy at Suez Canal on his way back from a conference in Yalta, USSR.
At that time Roosevelt has also meet another African leader King Farouk of Egypt.
Since then the relation of Ethiopia and US has been flourished until 1974n