UN Secretary, Rex Tillerson, praises Kenyatta's 'positive steps'

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will meet with leaders in several African countries in March plus African Union leadership in Addis Ababa


US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met President Uhuru Kenyatta at the beginning of his three-day visit in the country on Friday.

On Thursday, during his first trip to Africa, the United States diplomat told a news conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that African leaders need to carefully consider their agreements with China.

The United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is in Addis Ababa for official visit, today advices African countries to be cautious about their sovereignty while dealing with the Chinese investments.

"There is no question about USA commitment to Kenya on trade and security", Tillerson said during a meeting at State House, Nairobi. "It is useful for both parties".

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"The goal of my trip to this continent is that we listen", Tillerson said.

He said that the "incident is of the past" and that the Africa-US relation was cordial.

In a speech ahead of the tour, Tillerson, who visited the continent many times as chief executive of oil conglomerate ExxonMobil, laid out the challenges Africa faces and the role of Washington.

"Leading US multinationals such as IBM, Microsoft, Google, General Electric, Coca Cola, and Bechtel, to name but a few, have opened their regional offices in Kenya; thereby providing themselves with the best platform to access the vast African market", the President said.

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Tillerson reiterated USA desire for more African nations to apply concrete diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea, noting the global maximum pressure campaign, which has been supported by multiple UN Security Council resolutions. "However, we think it's important that African countries carefully consider the terms of those investments". According to him, Africans are mature enough to engage in partnerships of their own volition which will be useful for the countries and the continent.

President Kenyatta said the solid friendship and cooperation that continues to deepen, only serves to encourage Kenya to strengthen its resolve to work together with the USA towards an even brighter future.

He also expressed his hope that China follows global norms while dealing with African countries, which "badly needed" Chinese investments.

Investments underscore just how much China is outpacing the U.S.in Africa.

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On Thursday, Tillerson and AU commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat discussed security and counter-terrorism, trade and development, corruption and conflict in an hour-long meeting at the continental body's headquarters in the Ethiopian capital.

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