Misinforming the National Black Caucus

August 30th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

Misinforming the National Black Caucus

National Black Caucus For Local Elected Officials Accepts Ethiopian Ambassador’s Invitation For Trade Mission; Caucus Board Welcomes Advances In Democracy.

Contact: Terry Riley, President of National Black Caucus for Local Elected Officials
+1-816-589-3607, triley@kc.rr.com,

WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –

Kansas City Councilman Terry Riley, president of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO), announced today that members of the board of directors would travel to Ethiopia in the next sixty days for a trade mission as well as meetings with government officials.

Earlier this month, Ambassador Samuel Assefa, the Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States, keynoted the annual meeting of the National Black Caucus in Biloxi and was greeted enthusiastically by the membership.

The Ambassador spoke of the historic ties between the African American Community and the people of Ethiopia as well as the Ethiopian Government’s desire to foster stronger ties with the African American community.

Ambassador Assefa noted the remarkable success of his country in the past two decades in the advancement of democracy and regional stability. The Ambassador said, “All across Ethiopia there is a sense of democratic change and a real feeling of hope for the future. We welcome the opportunity to work closely with African-Americans to further our shared interest in building a democratic society.”

Councilman Riley said, “The Government of Ethiopia has demonstrated its statesmanship with its bold decision to grant pardons for opposition leaders. Therefore, the time has come for locally elected leaders and the Congressional Black Caucus to enter into a meaningful partnership with the Ambassador and the government of Ethiopia. Precipitous sanctions by Congress will only hinder relations with the United States and Ethiopia. Now is not the time to punish one of our best allies in the war on terror.”

Riley said, “The best way to forge a strong alliance is through trade and meaningful dialogue. For that reason we are committed to working with our brothers and sisters in Ethiopia. NBC-LEO now has what we believe to be our first real relationship with leaders of an African country; this new relationship is something we cherish and we will strengthen that bond with the people of Ethiopia.

“I will immediately send a letter to all members of the Congressional Black Caucus asking them to restrain from imposing sanctions against Ethiopia. What we need now is leadership and meaningful discourse and not a rush to judgment without the facts and respect for the rule of Ethiopian law. Our security is in jeopardy in the Horn of Africa, and now is the time for us to show some real leadership.”

SOURCE: National Black Caucus for Local Elected Officials

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