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WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama on Thursday pledged continued partnership with Ethiopia and urged Hailemariam Desalegn, the acting prime minister of the Africa nation, to boost support for development, democracy and regional security.
In his phone talks with Desalegn, Ethiopia's deputy prime minister who took over as acting prime minister following the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on Tuesday, Obama referred to Meles' "significant contributions" to Ethiopia's development as well as peace and security in the region, the White House said in a statement.
Meles was seen by Washington as a major ally in fighting terrorism, and US drones that patrol East Africa are stationed in Ethiopia, which has in return got hundreds of millions of dollars in US aid over the years.
The Ethiopian government said Desalegn would remain in his new post until an election in 2015.