US Secretary of State Blinken to make first virtual visit to Nigeria, Kenya

Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State is set to make his first visit to Africa, virtually, where he will meet with the presidents of Nigeria and Kenya. The tour which will commence on Tuesday will consist of a meeting with African youth from across the continent.

Blinken will then meet with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama “to reiterate the value of our bilateral relationship and talk about problems of shared importance”, the state department said in a statement.

The visit comes as the security scenario in the country, continues to rise amid attacks by Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in the north, extensive displacement and increases in kidnappings for ransom in the entire country.

During Antony Blinken’s virtual outing to Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo will celebrate the “57-year bilateral relationship” and “discuss future cooperation to promote democracy and expand trade, and discover avenues to tackle international challenges, which include climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic”, the state department said.

Kenya has additionally been dealing with insecurity and displacement in neighbouring nations like Somalia, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

The visit comes after President Biden administration, appointed veteran diplomat Jeffrey Feltman as special envoy for the Horn of Africa as Washington appears to step up diplomatic efforts in a region hit by conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region as well as other different crises.

Jeffrey Feltman additionally will lead global efforts to tackle tensions between Ethiopia and Sudan and around the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

 

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