June 20, 2024

Biden’s top diplomats travel to South Africa, Angola, Gabon and France, will meet with Presidents João Lourenço and Ali Bongo Ondimba

Wendy R. Sherman
Wendy R. Sherman

United States Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman embarked on a three-nation African tour on Monday along with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Mary Catherine Phee and National Security Council Senior Director for Africa Dana Banks.

The officials are traveling to South Africa, Angola, Gabon, and France from May 2 to 7 and are expected to meet with top officials in those countries, including President João Lourenço of Angola and President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon.

“In South Africa, Deputy Secretary Sherman will travel to Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Pretoria from May 2 to 4 and meet with Deputy Foreign Minister Alvin Botes and other senior government officials to discuss furthering U.S.-South African cooperation on a range of issues, including global and regional peace and security, trade and investment, sustainable infrastructure, health security, and the climate crisis,” the U.S. State Department told journalists on Friday. “She will meet with business leaders and entrepreneurs to discuss strengthening the important trade and investment relationship between the U.S. and South Africa. The Deputy Secretary will also present the International Women of Courage Award during a discussion with women leaders promoting human rights for marginalized communities.”

The media note added that Deputy Secretary Sherman will then travel to Luanda, Angola from May 4 to 5 to meet with President João Lourenço, Foreign Minister Tete Antonio, and other senior Angolan officials “to discuss our shared interests, including regional security and defense cooperation, economic prosperity, good governance, support for Angola’s COVID-19 vaccination effort, and cooperation on shared maritime law enforcement as well as economic, and climate-related challenges in the Atlantic Basin.”

She will also hold discussions with business leaders, and Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni who are working to promote women’s entrepreneurship and youth engagement.

From May 5 to 6, the Deputy Secretary will travel to Libreville, Gabon, where she will meet with President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Foreign Minister Michael Moussa-Adamo, and Minister of Defense Félicité Ongouori Ngoubili “to engage on our shared priorities including promoting environmental protection, addressing the climate crisis, and furthering security cooperation.”

The Deputy Secretary will also visit Raponda Walker Arboretum to learn about Gabon’s work in forest conservation leadership to combat the climate crisis.

The State Department added that on May 7, the Deputy Secretary will meet in Paris, France, with French MFA Secretary General Francois Delattre, German MFA State Secretary Andreas Michaelis, Italian MFA Secretary General Ettore Sequi, and UK Minister of State for Europe and North America James Cleverly “to discuss our ongoing, close coordination to respond to Putin’s brutal, unprovoked war against Ukraine.”

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