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US and Ethiopia agree to cooperate in Somlia and Sudan’s Darfur

December 11, 2009 (ADDIS ABABA) – Ethiopia and the United States agreed to cooperate together in order to end the ongoing crisis in Somalia and Sudan’s Darfur

Meles Zenawi met on Thursday with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Africa, Vicki Huddleston and discussed with her the bilateral relations between the two countries and the troubled situation in Somalia and Darfur.

Following the meeting with the Prime Minister on Thursday, Huddleston told reporters they agreed to work together toward resolving the existing crisis in Somalia and the Sudan. The US official did not elaborate on the mechanism of this cooperation.

Despite the good ties between the two countries, the Obama Administration told Addis Ababa earlier this year that it prefers to support directly the Somali army and urged Addis Ababa to not intervene militarily again in Somalia.

Ethiopia is one of the major contributors to the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur, Addis Ababa also agreed to provide the joint mission with five tactical helicopters to operate effectively across the restive province.

Meles expressed Ethiopia’s keenness to develop Ethiopia-US bilateral relations. He also reaffirmed Ethiopia’s willingness to work together with the US in efforts geared toward resolving the crisis in Somalia and in Sudan’ Darfur.

(ST)