The Straits Times
Published on Aug 22, 2012

Obama praises late Ethiopian leader Meles


WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States President Barack Obama offered his condolences to Ethiopia on Tuesday following the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, a key Western ally who ruled his country for more than two decades.

"I met with Prime Minister Meles at the G-8 Summit in May and recall my personal admiration for his desire to lift millions of Ethiopians out of poverty through his drive for food security," Mr Obama said in a statement.

He credited the Ethiopian leader with helping forge "peace and security in Africa," and for "his contributions to the African Union, and his voice for Africa on the world stage."

Meles, however, was regularly singled out as one of the continent's worst human rights violators.