June 20, 2024

Top Biden diplomat for Africa Mary Catherine Phee traveling to Equatorial Guinea to meet with President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and Vice President Teodoro Obiang Mangue

Mary Catherine Phee
Mary Catherine Phee has been nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and Chair of the Board of Foreign Service

President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s top diplomat for Africa Mary Catherine Phee is traveling to Equatorial Guinea to meet with President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Vice President Teodoro Obiang Mangue and other senior officials.

Phee, who is the United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, will visit Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, February 14-15 for bilateral meetings. 

She will be joined by Special Advisor for Africa Strategy Judd Devermont from the National Security Council and U.S. Air Force Major General Kenneth Ekman, Director of Strategy, Engagement, and Programs, U.S. Africa Command. 

The U.S. delegation and Equatorial Guinea’s officials will discuss “the importance of working together to address maritime security challenges, combat trafficking in persons, promote respect for human rights, and enhance efforts to address climate change and protect the environment.”

The delegation will also meet with civil society representatives, the U.S. State Department said in a note on Friday.

Meanwhile, United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Thursday “about joint efforts by NATO Allies, EU partners, G7 members, and other partners to address Russia’s continued military build-up on Ukraine’s borders,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price.

Secretary Blinken and FM Le Drian also reviewed ongoing developments in the Sahel region of Africa during their conversation.

“Secretary Blinken also raised the importance of NATO’s engagement with Asia-Pacific partners. He noted France’s leadership role in ending the COVID-19 pandemic and discussed additional areas for cooperation on that effort,” Price said. “They stressed the importance of continuing to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and ensuring Russia understands the high costs it would incur if it were to invade Ukraine further. The two spoke about ongoing efforts by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to help Armenia and Azerbaijan resolve all outstanding issues related to or resulting from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”

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