US envoy pledges to press Ethiopia on rights

Gadaa.comWASHINGTON, Feb, 2, 2010 (AFP)— President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the next US ambassador to Ethiopia pledged on Tuesday to press the government in Addis Ababa to improve human rights, free political prisoners and make upcoming elections fair.Donald Booth said the United States had “complex interests” in Ethiopia, and that the two nations, while differing in tactics, saw largely eye-to-eye on the need to bring stability and prevent an Islamist takeover of Somalia.”We need to try to work with Ethiopia across the board, preserving the cooperation where we share interests such as regional security,” Booth, a former ambassador to Liberia and Zambia, said at his Senate confirmation hearing.But he warned that Ethiopia’s “limitations on political expression and economic activities as well as shortcomings in respect to basic human rights run counter to American principles and risk becoming the seeds of future instability.”

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