Secretary of State, Clinton, snubs Nigeria in tour of African countries

The United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, will on Tuesday begin an 11-day tour of six African countries.

The State Department said in a statement on Monday that Mrs. Clinton is billed to visit Senegal, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi and South Africa during the trip that is expected to begin on July 31 and to terminate on August 10.

It said that during the trip, the secretary would emphasise US policy commitments as outlined in the Presidential Policy Directive.

The US says the policy is to strengthen democratic institutions, spur economic growth, advance peace and security as well as promote opportunity and development for all citizens

According to the statement, Mrs. Clinton’s first port of call would be Senegal, where she is expected to meet President Macky Sall and other national leaders and deliver a speech applauding the resilience of Senegal’s democratic institutions and highlighting America’s approach to partnership.

After Senegal she is expected to move to South Sudan where she would meet with President Salva Kiir to reaffirm US support and to encourage progress in negotiations with Sudan to reach an agreement on issues related to security, oil and citizenship.

It also said that in Uganda, the secretary of state would meet with President Yoweri Museveni to encourage strengthening of democratic institutions and human rights.

The State Department said that in Uganda, Mrs. Clinton is expected to reinforce Uganda as a key US partner in promoting regional security, particularly with regard to Somalia and in regional efforts to counter the Lord’s Resistance Army.

“She will also highlight U.S. support in the fight against HIV/AIDS,’’ the statement said.

It said that Clinton would then travel to Kenya to meet President Mwai Kibaki, Prime Minister Rahila Odinga, and other government officials to emphasise support for transparent, credible, non-violent national elections in 2013.

“To underscore U.S. support for completing the political transition in Somalia by Aug. 20, Secretary Clinton will also meet with President Sheikh Sharif and other signatories to the Roadmap to End the Transition.

“The secretary continues her trip in Malawi, visiting President Joyce Banda to discuss economic and political governance and reform,’’ it stated.

In South Africa, Mrs. Clinton will pay her respects to ex-President Nelson Mandela. She will also participate in the U.S. -South Africa Strategic Dialogue focusing on the partnership between both countries in addressing issues of mutual concern and their shared challenges on the African and world stages.

During the visit, Mrs. Clinton will be accompanied by a U.S. business delegation.



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