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Diplomatic relations were established between the United States and Ethiopia in a treaty of commerce in 1903. The first American Legation arrived in Addis Ababa in 1909 but withdrew in 1936 when Italy invaded Ethiopia. It reopened in 1943 and was elevated to embassy status in 1949.

During the Cold War, U.S.-Ethiopian relations were strained because Ethiopia accepted Soviet aid and support. However, the two states have cooperated since the collapse of the communist government in 1991. The official ideology of the government is “developmental democracy,” a model that prioritizes economic development over political rights. One party controls all aspects of the government, economy, and security sector, and supports rapid, broad-based modernization intended to transform Ethiopia from a poor, rural, agricultural state to a middle income, urban, and industrialized powerhouse by 2025.

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