Messages of condolences and solidarity the rest of the world

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A statement from the office of UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon said: “Prime Minister Zenawi will be remembered for his exceptional leadership and advocacy on African issues within and outside the continent, as well as for overseeing his country’s economic growth and development.” It also expressed the Secretary-General’s gratitude for Mr. Zenawi’s strong support of UN peacekeeping and peacemaking operations, and for “his active commitment to working with the United Nations on numerous global peace and development challenges.”  Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Ethiopia under Meles had “played a key role in both the region and the African continent”, and he hoped that “his successor will continue to be a driving force on a wide range of issues, from brokering peace negotiations to shaping development relationships.”

The President of the European Council, Mr. Herman Van Rompuy and the President of the European Commission, Mr. Jose Mauel Durao Barroso, jointly issued a statement that "it was with great sadness that we received the news about the passing away of Prime Minister Meles." On behalf of the European Union and themselves, they offered their sincere condolences and extended their deep sympathy to the family and all the people of Ethiopia, describing Prime Minister Meles as “a respected leader who demonstrated his strong personal commitment over many years to improving the lives of not just Ethiopian but all African peoples. Through his work on African unity, climate change, and development he promoted peace and stability, particularly in the Horn of Africa [and] in his time, Ethiopia made great advances towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals”.

U.S. President Barack Obama praised Meles’ “unyielding commitment to Ethiopia’s poor,” citing his “personal admiration for his desire to lift millions of Ethiopians out of poverty through his drive for food security.”.  US Secretary Hillary Clinton said she had admired the Prime Minister’s “personal commitment to transforming Ethiopia’s economy and to expanding education and health services. He was an important and influential voice in Africa, and we especially valued his role in promoting peace and security in the region.” She added “I am confident that Ethiopia will peacefully navigate the political transition according to its constitution.” Michael Honda, Co-chair of the US Congressional Caucus on Ethiopia and Ethiopian Americans also expressed the Caucus’ condolences on the loss of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Congressman Honda said “Meles Zenawi’s commitment to Ethiopia was unwavering in spirit and practice. His role in promoting peace and security in the region and developing the economy of Ethiopia was unparalleled”. He reaffirmed the readiness of the Caucus to work with the Ethiopian Government “to ensure stability, equality and justice in the bright futures of both Ethiopia and the broader Horn of Africa, while also lending support to Ethiopian-Americans during this time of transition.”

The President of the People’s Republic of China, Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, have sent condolences with President Hu Jintao describing Meles as “an outstanding leader of Ethiopia and a renowned statesman”.  China, he said will never forget “the important contribution he made to the establishment and development of the comprehensive cooperation between China and Ethiopia". The Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, said it was with a deep sense of shock and sorrow that he had learnt of the sad and untimely demise of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Describing Ato Meles as a towering statesman of Ethiopia and Africa and as a person who effectively articulated and advanced the continent's interests in international fora, he said Ethiopia had lost a remarkable leader whose contribution towards the peace, progress and development of his country would be long remembered. Mr. Singh said that the traditionally close and friendly relations between Ethiopia and India had gained enormously under the leadership and guidance of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said Prime Minister Meles was an inspirational spokesman for Africa on global issues and provided leadership and vision on Somalia and Sudan. "His personal contribution to Ethiopia's development, in particular by lifting millions of Ethiopians out of poverty, has set an example for the region. Our thoughts are with his family and with the nation of Ethiopia. He will be greatly missed". Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said "it is with great sadness that I learned of Meles Zenawi's death. He was a hugely significant figure in Ethiopia's history, in particular helping guide his country from extreme poverty to an era of economic growth and development. My deepest condolences go to his family and the people of Ethiopia."

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that it was with profound sorrow that he had learnt the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. He said the Prime Minister would always be remembered with great appreciation for his contribution to the development and welfare of his country, his remarkable efforts and the leadership role that he had played in contributing to lasting peace and stability in the region as well as for “his valuable endeavors to enhance the relationship between Turkey and Ethiopia”. The Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihiko Nond, said that Prime Minister Meles Zenawi was fully committed to the social and economic development of Ethiopia, made great efforts in working for regional peace and stability, and contributed a lot to facilitating the TICAD process (Tokyo International Conference on African Development) and strengthening Ethio- Japan relations.

Other messages of condolence have been received from the Government of Spain; President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan; President Lee Myung-bak of Korea; Paul Kagame President of Rwanda;  Dr. Mohamed Moncef Marzouki, President of Tunisia; the President of Botswana, Lieutenant General Sertse Khama Ian Khama; Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayad Al Nahyan Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice-president of the United Arab Emirates; the Prime Minister of the Government of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev;  the Prime Minster of Finland, Jyrki Katainen; the Prime Minister of Sweden, Fredrik Reinfeldt; the Prime Minister of Cambodia, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen; the Prime Minister of Viet Nam, Nguyen Tan Dun; and Hamadi Jebali, Prime Minster of Tunisia.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to express its deepest gratitude to all who stood by the country in this moment of grief. (MoFA)