Pentagon Press Secretary George Little provided the following readout:
Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter visited Ethiopia on July 23-24, where he met with senior government and military leaders to discuss the U.S.-Ethiopia security partnership and shared interests with respect to East Africa's security challenges. Dr. Carter also visited the African Union during his time in Addis Ababa.
While in Ethiopia, Deputy Secretary Carter met with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Chief of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces General Samora Yenus. These meetings provided an opportunity to discuss the critical role that Ethiopia has played in stabilizing Somalia and providing peacekeepers along the border between Sudan and South Sudan. Deputy Secretary Carter and Prime Minister Hailemariam also discussed next steps in response to recent events in South Sudan.
In his meeting at the African Union, Dr. Carter thanked Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission Erastus Mwencha for the African Union's leadership in tackling Africa's security challenges.
The two leaders exchanged views on the African Peace and Security Architecture, maritime security, and the conflicts in Somalia, Mali, the Central African Republic, and the Great Lakes region. The deputy secretary also met with alumni from the Africa Center for Strategic Studies from across the continent who offered their perspectives on Africa's progress in addressing its security and development challenges.
Dr. Carter is the highest-ranking DoD official to visit Ethiopia in over a decade, and he is the most senior DoD leader ever to visit the African Union.