Tribute to Meles Zenawi in Ethiopia

Diplomats and representatives of international institutions based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital on Monday hailed the leadership and positive role of the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in Ethiopia and in Africa in peace and development.

Expressing their sorrow over his death, the diplomats and the representatives on Monday signed Book of Condolence at the Grand Palace (residence of late PM) in Addis Ababa of the late premier who breathed last a week ago while recovering outside the country.

nterviewed by reporters upon signing the Book of Condolence, they said the death of Meles is a great loss not only to Ethiopia but also to Africa as he was a leader with wisdom and devotion to development as well as peace and security on the continent.

Joram M. Biswaro, Tanzanian Ambassador to Ethiopia, said, “Africa will miss the wisdom, the sense of humor, the guidance and the leadership that PM Meles provided to the continent.”

Michael A Battle, U.S. Ambassador to the African Union (AU) and Permanent Representative to the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), said Meles was significantly important for the AU because he had made tremendous contribution to peace and security as well as economic development of Africa.

“For the AU Prime Minister Meles was significantly important because he provided international leadership not just leadership here in Ethiopia but international leadership. He was a man of global scale and much appreciated for the wisdom and insight that he shared; and we have a great loss,” he said.

“In global scale, he made tremendous difference in peace keeping operation, peace and security trying to make sure that the continent developed economically and progressive continent,” he added.

Mary Phee, Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia, said the late Prime Minister Meles devoted his entire life to improving the economy of Ethiopia and livelihood of its people.

Asked about the relations between the United States and Ethiopia hereafter, she said, “I expect we will continue to have strong and productive relationship and partnership with the government and people of Ethiopia.”

“The Prime Minister devoted his entire life to improving the livelihood and economic hard-work of the Ethiopian people and in that the American government has been a strong partner working through our agency for international development to support education, to support health and other economic activities, particularly agriculture and most recently food security here in Ethiopia. As the acting Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn has said Ethiopia continues to push forward with the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) and we will continue to support Ethiopia’ s effort to develop the economy and to the development of the people,” said the Charge d’Affaires.

About the message of President Barak Obama on the passing away of PM Meles, she said, “The president as well as the Secretary of State and our Ambassador to the UN, and Head of our agency for international development all commended the prime minister for his role in development in particular, as well as his role in regional security; and they expressed their sorrow, and sorrow of the American people to the Ethiopian people.”

Dirham Abdo Noman, Yemeni Ambassador to Ethiopia, said the Ethiopian PM was a great leader and his death is a loss not only to Ethiopia, but also to Yemen.

“We are here today to express our condolences to the Ethiopian people, to the Ethiopian government and to the family of His Excellency Mr. Meles. We travelled earlier, he is a great leader, and we respect him. In Yemen, he is our strategic partner; we have good relations as Yemeni people and Ethiopian people are brothers, brother countries for thousands of years. So, it is a big loss not only for Ethiopia, Mr. Meles is also for Yemen. We respect him, we will give him in our hearts because we have done many things before and Mr. Meles was so great,” said the Ambassador.

Paul Lolo, Nigerian Ambassador to Ethiopia, said Meles passed away at a time when Africans want at most.

But, the Ambassador said Ethiopians and Africans are console by achievements made through his contribution.

He said Ethiopians will also build on the foundations laid by the late prime minister.

“The death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is a loss to Africa, not just to Ethiopia. He died at a time we need him at most. But, we are console by the fact that during his life time he did his best and we do hope that Africa will continue on the track that he left,” said Lolo.

Dragan Momcilovic, Ambassador of Serbia to Ethiopia, stated that the late Premier will always remembered the role he had played during every summit of the African Union (AU).

“I came here to express my bitter condolences on behalf of the government of Serbia, and on behalf of the people of Serbia, and on behalf of my own. Legacy of Prime Minister is huge first of all stability in Ethiopia and after that for the Horn of Africa; he gave tremendous additions to peace process, especially in Somalia and Sudan,” said Momcilovic.

Mull Sabujja Katende, Ambsassdor of Uganda,whom approached by reporters also echoed others’expression and said the death of PM Meles is a great loss not only to Ethiopia but also to Africa in general.

“This period is very sad for all of us; and we send our condolences to the people of Ethiopia and their government; this is a great loss for Ethiopia, it is a huge loss to the region, a loss in Africa and also internationally,”said Katende.

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