US ambassador to the UN to head delegation to Ethiopian premier's funeral

The Obama administration has praised the longtime leader's record on development, peacekeeping and anti-terrorism since his death was made public last week, largely ignoring his crackdown on political opponents. Rice in particular released a gushing, 277-word statement calling him a “close friend and cherished colleague.”

Also attending the funeral: Ambassador Donald Booth, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson and Special Assistant to the president and Senior Director of the National Security Staff Gayle Smith.

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on a six-nation trip across the Pacific this week and next.

The funeral will offer Rice, a senior foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign, a chance to showcase her diplomatic skills on the world stage away from the United Nations halls as she lobbies for the secretary of state slot in a second Obama administration. 

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