Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Hosting Tillerson, AU head says he's over 'shithole' remark

Turn the page US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at a press conference with the African Union's Moussa Faki Tillerson falls ill on Africa tour, cancels events
Jay Anderson | 10 March, 2018, 01:49

Trump has yet to name an assistant US secretary of state for Africa or an ambassador to South Africa and other African nations.

The U.S. commitment to Africa "is quite clear", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday in the Ethiopian capital, at the first news conference of his five-country Africa trip.

Both parties declared their talks to have involved methods to deepen ties between the U.S. and Africa in fields of peace, security, trade, health, as well as partnership in tackling corruption and illegal financial flow.

Tillerson arrived in Ethiopia, Africa's second most populous nation, on Wednesday on the first leg of his African visit. Djibouti and Chad are also often criticized on human rights issues. The complex was funded and built by China and is seen as a symbol of Beijing's thrust for influence and access to the continent's natural resources.

According to Beijing, Tillerson's remark was "totally out of line with the truth". His top African diplomat, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Donald Yamamoto, cast the trip in broad terms. The Secretary commended the Prime Minister for his commitment to Ethiopia's future, demonstrated by his decision to step down, to facilitate a peaceful transition, and to make way for further reforms.

The US State Department is grappling with the impact of Trump's 'America First' policy- Tillerson's maiden trip to Africa is seen as shoring up US commitment to the continent

"It is important that the country moves on past the state of emergency as quickly as possible", he said.

Trump administration officials have repeatedly emphasized the pivotal role that China plays in emboldening North Korea as its largest trading partner.

The letter came after Faki himself described the comments to the African Union as "profoundly" shocking and "conveying contempt, hate and desire to marginalize and exclude Africans". AFRICOM had already begun engaging China, particularly in Djibouti, where the two countries had military bases just a few kilometres apart.

Trump hasnt announced a signature initiative to aid Africans, such as the PEPFAR program for HIV/AIDS that President George W. Bush started, and many of Trumps budget cuts affect overseas programs that disproportionately help Africa.

The closed-door discussions between Secretary Tillerson and AU Chairperson Faki, includes finding sustainable means of financing for the fight against terrorists Africa, on how to support the fight against corruption and tracking of illicit financial flows from Africa. In his opening remarks with Faki, he said the US and Africa have "enjoyed many, many years of positive relationships".




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