D.C. Mayor Marion Barry visited this city over the weekend and met with Ethiopia's top famine relief official and representatives of private relief groups.
Barry, who is on a three-week tour of Africa after attending the first World Conference of Mayors in Monrovia, Liberia, said he came here for a 24-hour visit to get a "firsthand" report from the government on Ethiopia's famine.
He said that in a meeting yesterday with relief director Dawit Wolde Giorgis, he was told that the Ethiopian government is "upset" with the United States for channeling most of its aid through private relief organizations rather than through the government.
Barry said Dawit also told him Ethiopia wants the United States to supply "more permanent solutions" to the famine than simply giving food. The United States has committed $122 million worth of food and relief supplies to Ethiopia in fiscal 1985.
Barry said Dawit sought "technology to develop irrigation" and "water-drilling equipment, pumps and generators."
U.S. law prevents the government from giving anything other than "humanitarian" aid to countries that have nationalized American property and refuse to make a "good faith" effort to pay for it. Ethiopia seized about $30 million of U.S.-owned property in 1974 and has not paid for it.
Barry also met with Addis Ababa Mayor Zewdie Teklu, who was then Barry's guest at a dinner at the U.S. Embassy -- the first time since the 1974 revolution that a municipal official has been inside it.
U.S. charge d'affaires David Korn said Barry's visit "has helped promote better relations and build bridges with the Ethiopian government."