Pretoria [South Africa], August 9 (ANI): US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met on Tuesday in Pretoria with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to strengthen the ties between the two countries and advance global priorities through the US-South Africa Strategic Dialogue.
"In South Africa, I laid out our Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa. African countries are geostrategic players and critical partners on the most pressing issues. We value these partnerships as we address shared challenges. Thank you to our South African friends for your hospitality," Blinken tweeted.
A State Department said that Blinken, during his visit, noted that South Africa -- as a leading global voice, a strong constitutional democracy, a G-20 member, and a scientific, cultural, and tech leader -- is essential to global progress on COVID-19, climate, global health, democracy, and regional securityBlinken thanked Ramaphosa for hosting him and his delegation in South Africa and emphasized that the United States is committed to continuing this robust, dynamic, and mutually beneficial partnership.
State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said the United States and South Africa enjoy a strategic partnership with a strong network of people-to-people relationships with businesses, non-governmental organizations, universities, cultural institutions, and individual citizens.
"As a global voice, strong and vibrant democracy, and a country built on its commitment to human rights, South Africa is a strategic partner of the United States, with strong collaboration in shared global and bilateral priorities, including health, climate, trade and investment, education, and digital economy," Price added.
After concluding his South Africa visit, Blinken is now heading to Kinshasa, Congo, where he will meet with government leaders and representatives of civil society to discuss the extensive partnership on issues including regional security, respect for human rights, environmental conservation, climate change, and bilateral trade and investment.
Ties between the US and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are deep and longstanding, according to State Department.
The United States immediately established diplomatic relations with the DRC in 1960, following its independence from Belgium.
In April 2019 following President Tshisekedi's visit to Washington, the United States and the DRC launched the "Privileged Partnership for Peace and Prosperity," a joint commitment reflecting the closer US-DRC relationship and a public pledge to work together on areas of mutual interest, including strengthening democratic institutions and improving respect for human rights.
Experts argue that the new diplomatic push from the US in sub-Saharan Africa is in the face of recent efforts by China and Russia to gain influence on the continent. (ANI)