Senior U.S. diplomat travels to Africa for expanding relations

08:20, April 20, 2010      

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Under Secretary of State William Burns on Monday kicked off a one-week-long tour to Africa, in a bid to expand relations with U.S. partners in the continent for addressing common concerns, said U.S. State Department.

The No. 3 figure in U.S. State Department is scheduled to visit Senegal, Liberia, Angola, South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria and Cape Verde from Monday to Sunday, and meet with senior officials of these countries.

His trip will "expand relations with key African partners in the areas of democracy, sustainable economic development, health and education, and peace and security," said the State Department in a statement.

The trip is considered as the latest efforts by the Obama administration, who has vowed to make Africa a priority in U.S. foreign policy. Both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Africa last summer.

In his speech delivered in Ghana, President Obama outlined four areas critical to the future of Africa: democratic governance, economic opportunity, strengthening public health and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

He said that U.S. commitment to Africa must involve wide partnerships to build the capacity for the transformational change in the continent, but not be limited to the annual allocations of foreign aid.



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