Rex Tillerson has arrived in Ethiopia yesterday, and he is expected to discuss “transition”
March 8, 2018
Rex Tillerson has arrived in Addis Ababa yesterday for an official visit to Ethiopia as part of this tour of five African countries which analysts say is a sort of apology for Donald Trump’s characterization of African countries as “shithole.” He arrived in Ethiopia on the third day of the strike which was called by online activists, and which brought many towns to a standstill.
Speaking at George Mason University before he took off for his African tour, Tillerson unveiled half a billion in emergency aid for African countries. Ethiopia is expected to receive more than $100 in emergency aid. The regime in power has been a major US ally in the alleged fight against “terrorism” and a recipient of a good chunk of United States’ aid money to Africa.
Mr. Rex Tillerson is expected to hold talks with Hailemariam Desalegn who announced his resignation on February 15, and with Dr, Workeneh Gebeyehu, the Foreign Affairs Minister who greeted Tillerson upon arrival at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Trade and investment, regional security and terrorism are among agenda items, according to pro-government media. Former United States Ambassador to Ethiopia, and currently Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Donald Yukio Yamamoto, however, hinted that the political situation in Ethiopia will also be an agenda item. He specifically mentioned that the appetite for discussion in that regard on the part of the United States is an institutional reform as opposed to changes in leadership.
Champions of the regime in power in Ethiopia, however, seem to be tense that the United States “might try to dictate the power arrangement in Addis Ababa. Since the Trump administration is known for gaffes, it is difficult to rule out that possibility,” as one of the stern defenders of the regime in power, who also runs the website Horn Affairs, Daniel Berhane, wrote.
United Arab Emirates Foreign Affairs minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was already in the country for a working visit which is said to be focused on fostering bilateral relations between the two countries. The United Arab Emirates has more than $10 billion investment in Ethiopia and is looking for ways to invest more, according to Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Ministry sources.
Today, Ethiopian authorities are also expecting Russian Foreign Affairs Minister, Sergey Lavrov, who is said to have expressed Russian interest to build a nuclear facility for Ethiopia.
Russia reportedly proposed a meeting between Sergey Lavrov and Rex Tillerson in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. It is not confirmed,however, it the two parties are meeting in Addis Ababa on the sidelines of thier working visit to the country.
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