United States Secretary of States, Hillary Clinton, the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon and the US Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Susan Rice have condoled with the Republic of Ethiopia over the sudden death of the country's Prime Minister, Mr. Meles Zenawi who passed away on Monday night.
In her condolence message, Secretary Hillary Clinton said:"I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia. I admired the Prime Minister’s personal commitment to transforming Ethiopia’s economy and to expanding education and health services"
Clinton added that the late Ethiopian Prime Minister was an important and influential voice in Africa, stressing that the United States government especially valued his role in promoting peace and security in the region. "I am confident that Ethiopia will peacefully navigate the political transition according to its constitution" she noted.
"On behalf of the American people, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the people of Ethiopia, and to reaffirm our commitment to a strong partnership focused on strengthening development, democracy and human rights, and regional security" Clinton further said.
In his own reactions, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was deeply saddened by the death of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and offered his heartfelt condolences to Mr. Zenawi’s family and to the Government and people of Ethiopia.
“Prime Minister Zenawi will be remembered for his exceptional leadership and advocacy on African issues within and outside the continent, as well as for overseeing his country’s economic growth and development,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.
The statement further expressed the Secretary-General’s gratitude for Mr. Zenawi’s strong support of UN peacekeeping and peacemaking operations. Ethiopian troops have regularly participated in UN peacekeeping deployments throughout Africa, including in Sudan, Liberia and Burundi.
“The Secretary-General will remember, in particular, Prime Minister Zenawi for his active commitment to working with the United Nations on numerous global peace and development challenges,” the statement continued, pointing to Mr. Zenawi’s recent important role in the ongoing negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan as well his work on the Millennium Development Goals and climate change.
In her condonlence message, the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Susan Rice said: "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"
Susan Rice pressed further that 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.
Her words: "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 Envoy further said that her country will remain deeply committed to continuing the partnership Prime Minister Meles forged between the two countries, and to furthering our work to promote development, democracy and human rights, and regional peace and security.
According to media reports, Mr. Zenawi, 57, passed away on Monday of an undisclosed illness. He had been at the pinnacle of Ethiopian politics since 1991, when he served as President, before becoming Prime Minister in 1995.