ADDIS ABABA-- A visiting United States Congressman has lauded "the very serious and sustained progress through reforms and measure"s being taken by Ethiopian Prime Ministewr Abiy Ahmed and members of his Cabinet.

Christopher Smith, who is Chairperson of the Sub-Committee on Africa, Global Health andl Human Right of the house of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, said this after discussions here Thursday with Ethiopian Foreign Minster Workneh Gebeyehu on issues of political reforms and human rights.

The Prime Minister is making very serious sustained progress in releasing prisoners and trying to look forward. We see a bright future, added Smith, who noted that thousands of prisoners, including members of opposition political parties, had now been freed, calling it a real progress.

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

He stated that the US and Ethiopia have a wide range of collaboration, including on issues of peace and security, combating human trafficking and other significant issues of bilateral importance.

Smith is visiting Ethiopia along with the ranking Democrat on the sub-committee, Representative Karen Bass, who said the reforms and measures taken by Ethiopia are very encouraging.

We are looking forward to figure out the way the US can be supportive to encourage the reformative development programmes in this country and we will see how Ethiopia is moving in the direction of the comprehensive reforms, she added.

Workneh expressed appreciation for the support of the US government provided to Ethiopia. He briefed the delegation on the deep reforms and changes currently underway in the country, adding that the government is doing its level best to address human rights issues and widening the political space.