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Tillerson Expresses US Interest in Boosting Ties, Trade with Africa

Tillerson Expresses US Interest in Boosting Ties, Trade with Africa

US secretary of state Rex Tillerson is expected in Nairobi on Friday afternoon in his first trip to Africa as the top USA diplomat.He is expected to hold talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta and other government officials in talks set to focus on continued support for the democratic process in Kenya, refugee issues, and press freedom, before he departs on Monday. Faki, however, insisted the slur was now in the past.

"I received a letter written by President Trump to myself and I shared that with other African leaders".

"I believe reasonably that this partnership will bring result for both sides", Chairperson Faki said.

"The objective of my trip to this continent is that we listen", Tillerson said. Africa is home to five of the world's 10 fastest-growing economies, but where many also struggle to secure financing.

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

He also recognized the 4,000 Kenyan troops fighting al-Shabaab in Somalia as part of the African Union peacekeeping mission AMISOM.

Tillerson praised the AU as a "force for good".

"All the credit" for the meeting went to the Kenyan political leaders, Tillerson said, in response to a question as to whether the US had a role in organizing it.

More news: Saudi allows Air India overflights to Israel: Netanyahu

His visit is also a bid to counter the mounting perception that the continent is a low priority for the Trump administration, with US-Africa policy ill-defined and key ambassadorial and State Department posts unfilled.

The most senior U.S diplomat says he is in Africa to listen to the demands of the continent.

He also expressed his hope that China follows global norms while dealing with African countries, which "badly needed" Chinese investments.

The two also discussed a few country-specific issues, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the United States continues to urge the AU to press all parties - including the DRC government and the political opposition - to work towards December 2018 DRC elections. He said he would pay his respects on Saturday in Nairobi to victims of the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. On Thursday, he arrived in Addis Ababa. Washington denied receiving an invitation to talks.

"As a people, we are more determined to forge a united front as we march forward in the path of progress", the President said.

The US official said he was glad that the judicial reforms in place meant contracts were respected and there was a clear path on investment.

Faki minced no words, all but rejecting Tillerson's argument.


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