United States President Joe Biden is very interested in visiting Africa, says Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was in Nigeria on Tuesday as part of efforts to smoothen diplomatic relations with the continent.
Speaking with Channels TV’s John Momoh, Mr Blinken said his principal still intends to visit Africa despite previous unfulfilled promises of doing so.
“The resident (Mr Biden) very much wants to come to Africa,” was Mr Blinken’s response when asked how previous unkept promises of visiting Africa were perceived as ranking the continent as a low priority on the U.S.-African foreign policy list.
In order to demonstrate Mr. Biden’s good intentions for the continent by sending his subordinates to visit, the U.S. Secretary of State stated, “I think we’ve had 17 cabinet-level or department-level officials come since the Africa Leaders Summit.”
The U.S. government official continued, “And one of the things President Biden was so intent on is – we had three great days in Washington with the Africa Leaders Summit, but he wants to make sure that the 362 days that make up the year we’re focused and engaged here.”
The invitation that Bola Tinubu was the “only African leader he has requested to meet” at the side of the UN General Assembly in September 2023 was repeated by Molly Phee, the U.S. assistant secretary for African affairs, three months after Bola Tinubu took office.
But the 2023 UNGA came to a conclusion without a meeting between the two leaders. The White House did not say anything or release a statement confirming that Messrs. Tinubu and Biden would be meeting.
Mr. Biden will be concentrating on campaigns and tactics to win his second term bid because the US presidential election is taking place in November.