US Secretary of State to embark on Africa tour

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) – The US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is due to embark on an expanded visit to Africa, focused on peace and security, trade and counter-terrorism, the U.S. State Department Spokesperson, Heather Nauert, said.

The 6-13 March 2018 visit will cover Eastern Africa, the Central Africa region and West Africa.

Tillerson is expected to visit N’Djamena, Chad, Djibouti, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Nairobi, Kenya and Abuja, Nigeria, to hold talks with African leaders, according to the State Department.

The Secretary of State is also expected to hold talks with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and to further the partnership with the government and people of Africa.

“In particular, he plans to discuss ways we can work with our partners to counter terrorism, advance peace and security, promote good governance and spur mutually beneficial trade and investment,” Nauert said in a statement issued on 1 March from Washington.

In Addis Ababa, Ethiopian foreign Minister Workneh Geneyehu, said the working visit was aimed at exchanging views on aspects of peace and security in the Horn of Africa and on the continent.

Ethiopian officials hope the US Secretary of State would take more seriously, Washington’s commitment to promote regional peace and security, the fight against terrorism and enhancing development, building democracy and human rights.

The US Secretary of State is expected to arrive in Nairobi on 11 March 2018.

The visit comes amid protests by a section of Kenyan politicians for the recall of the US Ambassador Robert Godec for his unflinching support to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto following the 26 Oct 2017 Presidential elections in Kenya, which the opposition insists should not confer the Kenyatta administration the legitimacy to rule until 2022.

In Ethiopia, the resignation of the Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and the declaration of a State of Emergency, publicly opposed by the State Department, would also feature during the visit to Addis Ababa.

Tillerson's visit comes in the wake of remarks by US President Donald Trump, deemed derogatory to African states and leaders, which ignited condemnation by the African Union and led African ambassadors accredited to Washington and New York to demand an apology from the White House.

President Trump is believed to have promised to mend ties with the Tillerson visit in a letter to African leaders during the recent AU Heads of State and Government Assembly in Addis Ababa.
-0- PANA AO?VAO 2March2018

02 march 2018 19:57:21




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