Meles Meets U

Meles Meets U.S.  IMF Officials


Addis Ababa, September 15 (ENA)- Prime Minister Meles Zenawi met and held discussions with US Senator RainGold about ways of seeking a lasting solution to the Ethio-Eritrean border conflict.


During talks with Senator RainGold Prime Minister Meles said pressure should be put on the Eritrean government to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit Ethiopian civilians and prisoners of war (POWs) living under appalling conditions in that country.


Meles and the U.S. Senator had also exchanged views about the recent development in Somalia and the various problems encountered by the Organization of African Unity (OAU).


The U.S. Senator told Meles that he has plans to visit Ethiopia in the near future.


Meanwhile, Prime Minister Meles held talks with members of the Black Caucus of the U.S. Congress about the kind of economic assistance Ethiopia seeks from that country.


On the occasion the Black Caucus members told Meles that they would try to persuade the US Government to help Ethiopia in food security, investment and debt reduction and cancellation.


Similarly, Prime Minister Meles met and held discussions with the U.S. Secretary of Finance about strategies that could help his country benefit from the debt cancellation.


Meles briefed the U.S. official about the macro economic policy of Ethiopia, during which he said that it was the interest of his country that the US provide assistance in the development infrastructure.


The U.S. Secretary of Finance on his part said that he would exert utmost efforts to convince his government to continue its development assistance to Ethiopia that was suspended due to the war with Eritrea.


Prime Minister Meles also met and held discussions with the Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on wide ranging issues.


The IMF director assured Meles on the occasion that his organization would promptly continue its support to Ethiopia's economic reform programme.


He said an IMF delegation would visit Ethiopia next month and sign a new cooperation agreement with Ethiopian government.


Meles had also conferred with the U.S. Export and Import Bank Chairman, who planned to dispatch a team that would explore the areas where the Bank's loan could have an effect to Ethiopia.


Prime Minister Meles urged the bank to facilitate the transfer of U.S. technology and flow of direct investment to Ethiopia.


Meles also called on the bank to create an enabling environment whereby Ethiopia's commodities could have access in the U.S. market.


In a similar development, during discussions with Prime Minister Meles representatives of U.S. farmers' cooperatives expressed their desire to donate nutritious food to drought affected Ethiopian children.