AP NEWS

Donald Trump speaks with Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed, pledges support for airplane probe

March 15, 2019

President Trump on Friday told Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed that U.S. investigators will support the African country’s efforts to determine what caused an Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people last weekend.

Mr. Trump reiterated his sorrow over the crash and said the U.S. considers Ethiopia to be a longstanding partner and friend, according to the White House.

Mr. Abiy, meanwhile, offered his condolences to the families and friends of the eight Americans killed in the crash.

He also thanked Mr. Trump for aiding the investigation into the tragedy, which involved a Boeing 737 Max 8.

The Ethiopia crash followed a similar, Lion Air Max 8 disaster in Indonesia in October, raising questions about pilots’ ability to control the model of planes.

The Federal Aviation Administration grounded all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 series planes after it received data about the Ethiopia crash that fit a similar pattern from the Indonesia incident.

The FAA was virtually the last air safety regulator in the world to suspend the planes’ operations.

Mr. Trump says Boeing is a “great company,” but that it’s under pressure to find out why two of its new passenger jets crashed within the past five months.