U.S. officials discuss bilateral ties with President Tshisekedi but no meeting with Trump

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Updated: March 7, 2021


Democratic Republic of Congo’s new President, Felix Tshisekedi, on Wednesday, met with Secretary of State, Mr. Mike Pompeo, and Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, Mr. Tibor Nagy, as well as several other senior officials in the Trump administration to strengthen bilateral ties.

Both countries discussed how to advance human rights, combat corruption and promote stability in the Congo, as well as how to bring prosperity to the central African nation through U.S. investments, according to tweets by Deputy State Department’s spokesman Robert Palladino and Assistant Secretary Nagy.

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Both countries discussed how to advance human rights, combat corruption and promote stability in the Congo, as well as how to bring prosperity to the central African nation through U.S. investments, according to tweets by Deputy State Department’s spokesman Robert Palladino and Assistant Secretary Nagy.

Robert Palladino wrote: “Secretary Michael R. Pompeo met today with Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Felix Tshisekedi in Washington, D.C.

“They discussed the future of U.S.-DRC relations following the country’s historic transfer of power earlier this year and expressed their common interest in partnering to deliver a better and more prosperous future for the Congolese people.

“Secretary Pompeo expressed support for President Tshisekedi’s change agenda focused on fighting corruption, strengthening governance, advancing human rights and accountability for human rights abuses and violations, promoting stability and security, and attracting American investment in the DRC.

“President Tshisekedi committed to good governance and respect for human rights, building transparent institutions, and combatting corruption in the DRC. 

“They also discussed the importance of sustainable and responsible development of natural resources, combatting the current Ebola outbreak, and responding to humanitarian crises.Secretary Pompeo stressed that the United States will continue to promote accountability to advance reform in the DRC”.

Mr Tshisekedi, who is on his first foreign trip since he was sworn in late January will not meet with President Donald Trump, a senior official told TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C. on Thursday morning, but cautioned that in Washington DC, things do often change fast.

President Tshisekedi arrived in Washington D.C. on Wednesday morning and was welcomed by hundreds of his countrymen at the Willard International Hotel near the White House at 1.36 a.m.

He would engage with his countrymen on Saturday, April 6, to discuss the “aftermath of the Congolese elections and immediate actions to be taken for the well-being of the Congolese people,” officials from the U.S branch of his political party, Union for Democracy and Social Progress, UDSP, said.

President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo arrives the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington DC on Wednesday April 3, 2019. Photo: Emmanuel Ikodor, TODAY NEWS AFRICA

To hold in Washington DC, the gathering will equally seek to galvanize the diaspora to engage more and support the president in his efforts to develop the DRC.

President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo arrives the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington DC on Wednesday April 3, 2019. Photo: Emmanuel Ikodor, TODAY NEWS AFRICA

Felix Tshisekedi is the son of veteran DRC opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, who served thrice as the country’s Premier. He took over his father’s UDSP political party after the 84-year-old popular opposition leader passed on in 2017.

Underrated and described as a “political amateur”, unfit to step in his father’s shoes, Felix Tshisekedi successfully led a coalition that won the presidential election organized by Kabila, and was sworn in as president of the Democratic Republic of Congo in a peaceful transition.

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Simon Ateba Washington DC
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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