Two senior members of the U.S. Congress are urging President Bush to play a direct role in American policy toward Ethiopia’s political unrest and border tensions with Eritrea.
U.S. Representative Chris Smith, chairman of the House subcommittee on Africa, and Senator Joseph Biden, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, say in a letter to Mr. Bush that U.S. policy in the Horn is “ambiguous” and the president’s personal leadership is needed to diffuse both situations.
The letter says the United States needs to make clear that Ethiopia’s leaders need to “respect human rights and the rule of law” and to accept an international panel’s demarcation of the Ethio-Eritrean border.
A spokesman for Representative Smith, Brad Dayspring, told VOA that there has been no response from the White House to the letter, which was sent last week. President Bush is traveling in Asia this week.
The letter also says President Bush should move swiftly to name a permanent ambassador to Addis Ababa, a job that has been vacant for nearly three months.