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Vol 37 No 12

Published 7th June 1996


Ethiopia

Hands across the water

Addis Ababa is becoming Washington's key ally against an expansionist Khartoum

The Addis Ababa-Washington axis is in better shape than for more than 25 years, probably since the hey-days of Emperor Haile Selassie in the 1960s. For the United States, Meles Zenawi's government has established itself as an important regional ally against expansionist Islamism, promoted by Sudan and Iran. And US officials such as outgoing ambassador Irving Hicks, regard Meles and his colleagues as making serious attempts to liberalise and democratise Ethiopia's politics. Bullish government ministers speak of food production nearing self-sufficiency and the economy growing at 7 per cent this year. Ethiopia is the third biggest recipient of (albeit diminishing) US aid to Africa.

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