(by EthioTime) Ambassador of the United States to Ethiopia, Patrica Haslach has left Addis Ababa as she finished her term as U.S. Ambassador for the past three years.
She said on Wednesday evening farewell event that, “the end of an assignment is always bittersweet, and that is particularly true today. As I reflect on the last three years, I’m very proud of how much progress we’ve made, but also very much aware of how far we have to go.”
We have focused on three pillars in the U.S.- Ethiopia relationship – development and economic growth; human rights and governance; and regional peace and security, she said.
All are necessary if Ethiopians are to have the future they aspire to. All are independent, but interconnected, and there will not be success in one domain without success in all. Patrica also stressed that Ethiopia is an important partner for the United States mentioning President Obama’s visit last years as high point of her time in Ethiopia.
“I am also worried by recent developments, which have the potential to threaten the progress that the people and government of Ethiopia have made. I know there is a great deal of fear and frustration in Ethiopia, including among our diverse and talented staff,” said Patrica.
“I can tell you that we continue to engage with the government of Ethiopia, urging its officials at all levels to uphold Ethiopia’s constitutional guarantees of democratic government and respect for human rights and the rule of law. As President Obama said last year: “Making sure to open additional space for journalists, for media, for opposition voices, will strengthen rather than inhibit the agenda that the Prime Minister and the ruling party has put forward.”
Even in the United States, the world’s oldest democracy, we continue to strive for improvement, by acknowledging our challenges and working to overcome them. Freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, transparency, and accountability are essential elements of good governance and democracy.
The leaving Ambassador also noted that, as U.S. Assistant Secretary for Human Rights, Tom Malinowski said in his recent article in allafrica.com (and on our Embassy Facebook page), “Because of the friendship and common interests our two nations share, the U.S. has a stake in Ethiopia's prosperity, stability and success. When Ethiopia does well, it is able to inspire and help others. On the other hand, a protracted crisis in Ethiopia would undermine the goals that both nations are trying to achieve together.” I want you to know that our message is clear: anyone who wants Ethiopia to develop and to succeed must understand that Ethiopia will be strongest when all voices are heard and government is accountable to all. Unlawful detention and abuse must end.
Image:U.S. Ambassador Patrica Haslach