Rep. Bass Enters Proclamation Recognizing Ethiopian Prime Minister's Visit To Los Angeles Into The Congressional Record
ETHIOPIAN PRIME MINISTER DR. ABIY AHMED ALI
VISIT TO LOS ANGELES
HON. KAREN BASS
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Mr. Speaker, I am honored to take official note of the visit of Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali to the United States to order to engage Ethiopian Americans in the new direction he plans for his country. Confirmed and sworn in just a few months ago in April 2018, from the time of his acceptance speech he has made clear his desire for political reform, unity among the peoples of Ethiopia, resolution of the long-standing border conflict with Eritrea, and engagement with opposition groups both inside and outside of Ethiopia.
These priorities resonate strongly with the Ethiopian diaspora in the United States, as has his work to act on those priorities. He has announced political reforms, released thousands of political prisoners, negotiated guarantees for the release of Ethiopian prisoners in Saudi Arabia, and earlier this month he became the first Ethiopian leader to meet with an Eritrean counterpart in more than 20 years. That meeting resulted in the signing of a “Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship” declaring an end to tensions, reopening direct telecommunications, road and aviation links, and regularizing access to ports.
I am proud to represent a district that is home to thousands of Ethiopian-Americans, and which includes Los Angeles’ Little Ethiopia neighborhood. Los Angeles has the second-largest concentration of Ethiopians outside of Addis Ababa, behind only Washington D.C. The University of Southern California’s Galen Center, also in my district, will play host to the meeting.
My constituents have proudly taken part in committees planning for this visit. I congratulate them, as well as the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry, the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the Ethiopian Consulate in Los Angeles on what I am sure will be a successful event. The meetings in Washington on July 28 and in Los Angeles on July 29 are expected to attract tens of thousands in the Ethiopian diaspora.
Those constituents have told me that they hope the Prime Minister’s presence, and his message, will inspire renewed interest in learning about, visiting and investing in their country of origin. As Ranking Member of the Africa Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I have worked to promote economic ties between the U.S. and the many nations on the continent, including Ethiopia.
I welcome the Prime Minister, and I hope this visit marks the beginning of an ongoing relationship with my constituents who proudly claim Ethiopian heritage, and who are now looking forward to contributing to a promising future for Ethiopia.