US President Barack Obama welcomed in Ethiopian capital

US President Barack Obama landed in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to meet with Ethiopian leaders and attend African Union meeting

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

US President Barack Hussein Obama arrived in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday for a three-day visit -- representing the first time for a sitting US president to visit Africa’s second most populous nation.

He flew in from Kenya, where he had paid a two-day visit and attended an entrepreneurship forum.

This is Obama’s fifth visit to an African nation during his tenure as president: In 2013, he visited South Africa, Tanzania and Senegal; and in 2009 he took a trip to Ghana.

Upon arrival at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, Obama was warmly welcomed by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and greeted by a long line of senior government officials and diplomats.

He was met at Meskel Square, one of the city’s widest boulevards near the airport, with a rapturous welcome as rows of people waved flags and chanted songs to his motorcade.

Security including cooperation in the area of counterterrorism and trade are center-stage in Obama’s visit. “President Obama’s visit is expected to deepen cooperation between US and Ethiopia in various fields,” Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Tewolde Mulugeta told Anadolu Agency.

“The visit will transform cooperation between the two countries from aid to trade,” he said.

Obama is also scheduled to deliver a speech to African Union officials and resident diplomats on Tuesday. “The US president is going to address Africa as a whole in his speech at the African Union headquarters,” Mulugeta said.