In a letter that was addressed to the leaders attending the 30th African Union Summit currently underway in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, President Trump said he will be sending his top diplomat, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to visit the continent in March.
The letter dated Thursday 25 January speaks of how the US “profoundly respects” the partnerships and values shared by the US and Africans and that the Trump’s commitment to strong relationships with African nations is “firm.”
President Trump Wishes 'Successful Summit' to African Union- pic.twitter.com/jwc0wjlnOw
— Chipo Dendere, PhD (@drDendere) January 28, 2018
Remarks by President Trump referring to African countries as “shithole countries” have left American diplomats struggling to address the shock and outrage that followed.
Several African leaders reacted angrily to those remarks with others summoning diplomats attached to their countries to explain their president’s position on Africa while the African Union ambassadors in the United States demanded a retraction and apology from Donald Trump.
President Trump denied making the offensive statements. He even met the African Union chairperson and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame at Davos in Switzerland during the World Economic Forum where he asked him to pass on his “warmest regards” to other regional leaders at the AU summit.
‘‘I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa. Our soldiers are fighting side by side to defeat terrorists and build secure communities,” read part of the statement.
In the statement, the United States has pledged to support the African Union in tackling issues of trade and development, resolving armed conflicts and combating corruption.
Trump told African leaders that he looks forward to “welcoming many of you to the White House.”