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Blinken to Visit Ethiopia, Niger for Talks on Peace, Partnership in Africa

© AP Photo / Jacquelyn MartinSecretary of State Antony Blinken.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 14.03.2023
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Ethiopia and Niger from March 14-17 to discuss peace in northern Ethiopia and a variety of ways to advance partnerships with the United States in Africa.
Blinken will visit Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on March 15 to discuss the implementation of peace agreements and transitional justice in the country’s northern Tigray region, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said last week.
The US top diplomat will also meet with both Ethiopian and Tigrayan officials to discuss the cessation of hostilities, but will not stop in the Tigray regional capital, Mekelle, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Phee said during a press briefing.
While in Addis Ababa, Blinken will also meet with African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat to discuss shared global and regional priorities, as well as follow up on commitments made at the US-Africa Leaders Summit regarding food security, climate and global health, Price said.
Blinken will underscore US support for African permanent representation in multilateral bodies, Price added.
He will arrive in Niger on March 16, marking the first visit to the country by a US Secretary of State. Blinken will meet with Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum and Foreign Minister Hassoumi Massaoudou in the capital city Niamey, Price said.
He will discuss ways to advance the US-Niger partnership on diplomacy, democracy, development and defense, Price said. Blinken will also engage youths from Niger’s conflict zones and further US-Africa Leaders Summit collaboration on issues related to global and regional peace and security.
In December, Blinken said to expect a number of US officials, including President Joe Biden, to visit Africa in 2023. It is critical to implement commitments made during the US-Africa Leaders Summit, Blinken said.