I am profoundly saddened by the untimely passing of my close friend and cherished colleague, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia. My family and I extend our heartfelt condolences to his beloved wife, Azeb, and their children, and to the Government and people of Ethiopia. Prime Minister Meles leaves behind an indelible legacy of major contributions to Ethiopia, Africa, and the world. His loss will be greatly felt in so many places in so many ways.
The Prime Minister’s decades-long commitment to Ethiopia’s development and his tireless efforts to liberate his proud people from famine, poverty, and disease stand as testament to his leadership and vision. Equally valuable have been his myriad contributions to the promotion of peace and security across Africa, notably including: his crucial support for the effective implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended Sudan’s long-running civil war and led to the birth of Africa’s newest nation, South Sudan; his determined fight against terrorism and extremism, especially in Somalia; and his energetic efforts to end the conflicts in Liberia and Burundi
Throughout, Prime Minister Meles helped to strengthen the African Union. Under his leadership, Ethiopia also made impressive contributions to the United Nations. From climate change to the Millennium Development Goals, from conflict prevention and mediation to peacekeeping, Prime Minister Meles and Ethiopia gave selflessly to the most important causes the UN championed in Africa and around the world.
The United States will remain deeply committed to continuing the partnership Prime Minister Meles forged between our two countries, and to furthering our work to promote development, democracy and human rights, and regional peace and security.
Like so many others, I will miss him deeply.