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U.S. Department of State
96/10/09 Arrival Statement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Office of the Spokesman

                        U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                        Office of the Spokesman

                         (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

For Immediate Release                           October 9, 1996 

                            WARREN CHRISTOPHER

                           Hilton International
                           Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
                              October 9, 1996

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: Good evening.  I'm very pleased to be here, in 
Addis Ababa, on behalf of President Clinton to welcome the progress that 
Ethiopia has made towards overcoming a legacy of dictatorship and civil 
war. The United States is very pleased to be a partner in the new 
Ethiopia.  Through our assistance, we are helping the Ethiopian people 
build a diplomatic society.  One that respects human rights; we're 
helping them rebuild and reform their economy.  

Through the greater Greater Horn of Africa  initiative we are helping 
Ethiopia and its neighbors achieve stability and improve security in a 
region, of course, that has known the tragedies of both war and famine. 

One of my goals, during my stay here, will be to highlight the growing 
U.S. commercial presence.  Fifty years ago, the State Department had the 
foresight to help one of our leading concerns, TWA, develop a new 
airline based here in Addis.  Fifty years later now, Ethiopian Airlines 
is one of the most modern, quality airlines in the world and definitely 
here in Africa. With all-Boeing fleets and long-haul aircraft, each 
powered by Pratt Whitney engines, our aviation partnership between an 
American company and Ethiopian Airlines is certainly flying high.

At the airport, before coming here, I toured the Large Engine Test 
Center.  That facility brings together the advanced technologies of 
Boeing, Pratt Whitney and the Central Engineering Company of 
Minneapolis, Minnesota of the United States.  I also had a chance to see 
the flight simulator that Ethiopian Airlines bought from Boeing.  It's 
the only one of its kind in Africa and the Middle East, and the only one 
of its kind outside of the United States.  

The number of American companies represented in Ethiopia has doubled in 
the last two years. Our presence in Ethiopia, of course, means jobs not 
only for Americans, but for Ethiopians as well.  I hope that my visit to 
Ethiopia encourages the people of this country to move further down the 
path of economic reform and towards a more open democratic society. 
That's the kind of path and the kind of development that will encourage 
even more investment and will lead to a brighter future for Ethiopia's 

I very much look forward to my day in Addis.  I will be meeting Prime 
Minister Meles, members of the government, opposition figures, and  
human rights groups.  Late in the afternoon, I 'll be visiting a Food 
for Development project funded by United States AID.  I will also tour 
the OAU Conflict Management Center, along with Secretary General Salim, 
and  meet with the OAU Ambassadors, discussing with them how we can 
cooperate to strengthen the OAU as a force for preventing and resolving 
future conflicts.

I see a number of colleagues here with me; Dr. Kellow and others from 
the test center.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, part of your focus here will be Burundi.  Do 
you have an evaluation of the human rights situation in Burundi since 
the military government took over in July?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  That's one of the subjects I intend to discuss 
tomorrow with Prime Minister Meles.  I will also receive a report from 
Congressman Wolpe, who has been here in the region.  My perception is 
although the government that was put in place there has made some 
improvements; there are still many human rights violations.  The 
governemnt still has a substantial distance to go.  As I said earlier, 
the United States hopes that the effect of the embargo will be conducive 
to promoting a representative government and human rights.  One of the 
purposes of the next two days is to give me an opportunity to express 
the United States' views on that subject, but also to hear the views of 
those who are close to the scene and  happen to be experts.

QUESTION:  I thank God for getting a seat, a golden opportunity to 
interview one of the most influential people on earth.  Well, I have a 
couple of questions.  Do you anticipate seeing a change in the foreign 
relations of the United States towards Africa since the Cold War is 

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  The United States, I think, has an opportunity 
to focus its energies on seeking  development and improvement in Africa.  
During the Cold War, constantly we were focused on polarizing issues 
such as the roles various countries played in that struggle; now we can 
put that behind us and understand that we can work together with all of 
the countries in the region.

The United States will be emphasizing trade in the future because we 
think that trade and investment, within these countries, is probably the 
long term key to development.  At the same time, I intend to fight hard 
-- and I know President Clinton does -- to maintain our aid at the 
highest possible level and assist economies in this region; especially 
those that have opted for democracy and economic reform.  I have just 
come from Mali, where there were good example of that; where we are 
giving considerable assistance because we want to recognize the progress 
they have made. Certainly, our relations with Ethiopia have, I think, 
justified considerable aid and assistance in the past year.

QUESTION:  Can you talk a little about why you decided to do your 
statement here instead of at the airport, and what you think about the 
government's pattern of not letting local, private journalists attend 
government press conferences?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I feel that the government of Ethiopia has made 
considerable progress in the direction of democratization.  At the same 
time, it is still a work in progress,  but  much remains to be done. One 
of the areas of our concern is the freedom of the press and the 
treatment of journalists; that's a subject we've consistently raised 
with the government of Ethiopia; in the context of our good relations 
with them. We try to schedule our press conferences in a place where all 
journalists are able to participate.  That's why the press conference 
has been scheduled here tonight at the hotel.

QUESTION: When you meeting with the Prime Minister, do you plan talk 
with him about the working conditions of the private journalists?  For 
example, the fact that Ethiopia has imprisoned a lot of journalists, and 
top officials, including the Prime Minister, haven't allow private 
journalists to attend their press conferences.

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: Yes, as I said, I intend to raise those issues in 
my meetings tomorrow.  We have consistently raised this issue with them.  
This is one of the things our good relationship with the country enables 
us to do.  We will be raising the issue in tomorrow's meetings as well.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, just over two years ago, a presidential 
commission reported to President Clinton that as many as 21 million 
people in the greater Horn of Africa were at risk for political 
upheavals or natural disasters.  The region seems to have stabilized a 
bit since then, and I wonder if you would say a word about the US's role 
in that process.

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: Well, our Greater Horn of Africa Initiative was 
meant to serve a crisis prevention purpose.  More and more I think, the 
best role the United States can play is to sense where these crises are 
developing, and in a cooperative way, with countries in the region, as 
well as countries outside the region take steps to prevent the crises 
from developing.

The famine situation appears to have improved somewhat in this region, 
in part  because of the initiative, and  because of good fortunes with 
the weather.  At the same time, this is still a region where there are 
matters of great concern and we're concerned about the attitude of Sudan 
and its threat to its neighbors.   In Somalia, where we have a small aid 
program, the situation is one of concern to us.  We continue to seek 
reconciliation.  Certainly, the situation in the Great Lakes area is a 
matter of great concern; especially from the humanitarian standpoint. 

We will continue to be involved; trying to identify problems as they 
arise and take preventative steps to deal with them before they arise.  
It will be a continuing problem; the kind of problem that is never 
permanently solved.  If we can, through greater contact with the region, 
identify problems in advance and  bring resources to bear -- 
particularly to bring the cooperation of countries in the region to bear 
-- then I think there is a promising future.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, are you going to be ask Ethiopia to make some 
kind of commitment to the " African Crisis Response Force?"

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: Yes, that will certainly be a major subject of 
discussion.  We've had a preliminary reaction from them and we received 
a very favorable reaction in Mali; that's one of the reasons I'm making 
the trip to the countries in this region.  I will try to get their ideas 
and suggestions about the "African Crisis Response Force" which is a 
very promising initiative.  The reactions we received initially have 
been promising.  Prime Minister Meles, clearly, is one of the leading 
figures in this region and his attitude toward it will be, I think, 
highly significant.

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