Ethiopia is making sustained progress on reforms: Congressman Chris Smith

Addis Ababa Republican Congressman Christopher Smith lauded Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his cabinet for engaging in very serious and sustained progress through reforms and measures taken in the country.

A U.S. delegation led by Republican Congressman Christopher Smith met today with Ethiopian Minster of Foreign Affairs, Workneh Gebeyehu on issues of political reforms and human rights.

The Premier is making very serious sustained progress in releasing prisoners and trying to look forward. We will see bright in the future, he said.

Smith, who also the Chairperson of Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, reiterated that thousands of prisoners including members of opposition political parties have now been freed, that is a real progress.

He recalled the important speech made by the Prime Minister at his inauguration in which he said opposition parties are not enemies, it is competition.

On other hand, he stated that U.S. and Ethiopia have wide ranges of collaboration including issues of peace and security, combating human trafficking and other significant issues of bilateral importance.

Ranking Member of Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations Democratic members Karen Bass said on her part the reforms and measures that have been taken are very encouraging.

She said We are looking forward to figure out the way the U.S. can be supportive to encourage the reformative development programs in the country and we will see how Ethiopia is moving in the direction of the comprehensive reforms.

Noting that there are many Diaspora communities in Los Angeles she said, adding I am looking forward to encouraging them so that they can come home and support the comprehensive progress in the country.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Workneh Gebeyehu appreciated the U.S. government for the support it has been providing for Ethiopia.

He briefed the delegation on the deep reforms and changes that are currently underway in the country, and adding that the government is doing its level best to address human rights issues and widening the political space.

Workneh urged the U.S. Congress to provide the necessary support for the nation's reform programs.

The delegation are expected to meet Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed this afternoon, it was indicated.

Smith is the author of the House Resolution (HR 128), a bill passed by the Congress, which condemned human rights abuses in Ethiopia and outlined a number of reforms that Ethiopia must take to promote peace and democracy.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency