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AU, U.S. discuss ways of strengthening partnership

The African Union (AU) and the U. S. on Thursday discussed ways of strengthening their partnership.

African Union headquarters

The U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, met and held talks with the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Mahamat, at the headquarters of the pan-African bloc in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

After their meeting, the two officials told the press that they have discussed ways of strengthening partnership between Africa and the U.S. in trade, peace and security, health, fight against corruption and illicit financial flow.

Tillerson appreciated the efforts and role the AU plays in economic regional integration of Africa and ensuring peace and stability on the continent, as well as strengthening the African Center for Disease control, on which he said U.S. is keen to forge closer collaboration.

Tillerson was due to meet with Ethiopian officials on Thursday afternoon before flying to tiny Djibouti, host to sprawling military bases owned by the U.S., China, Japan, France, and Italy.

He will then visit Kenya, a key U.S. ally in the fight against al Shabaab Islamist militants in Somalia, before traveling to Chad and Nigeria, which are also battling to contain Islamist insurgents.

Analysts say Trump has focused mainly on security concerns in Africa at a time when China, Turkey and other nations are ramping up diplomatic and business links.

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