U.S. President Barack Obama, center, participates in a bilateral meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn at the National Palace, on Monday, July 27, 2015, in Addis Ababa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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President Barack Obama huddled with Ethiopia's leaders Monday for talks on counterterrorism, human rights and regional security issues, including the crisis in neighboring South Sudan.However, human rights groups and others say Obama's visit to Ethiopia lends an air of international legitimacy to a government that is using national security concerns as a pretext to stifle opposition and curtail basic freedoms.White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes defended Obama's trip, saying the stop is not a seal of approval and that the two governments share a broad set of interests. He said Obama would not shy away from raising differences of opinion, including human rights.
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