World Pompeo makes 1st trip to Africa in bid to reassert US as leading partner

12:10  14 february  2020
12:10  14 february  2020 Source:   abcnews.go.com

5 things we learned (and still don't know) after the Trump impeachment saga

  5 things we learned (and still don't know) after the Trump impeachment saga The Trump impeachment drama pulled back the curtain on a chaotic foreign policy and Rudy Giuliani's shadow diplomacy. There's still a lot we don't know.The inquiry unearthed a trove of text messages, testimony and documents from players in the Trump administration's campaign to pressure Ukraine to investigate former VicPresident Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who worked for a Ukrainian energy company.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo boards his plane at Andrews Air Force Base en route to Munich on a trip that will include his first tour of sub-Saharan Africa France has voiced particular concern at the impact of US cuts on the fight against Islamist extremism. The French are leading a 4,500-strong

The US official said Pompeo would stress "economic growth, trade The French are leading a 4,500-strong operation in the Sahel to crush a rise in militants One former US diplomat expressed confusion over the goals of Pompeo 's trip to sub-Saharan Africa , the only region he has not previously visited.

After nearly 22 months in office, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will make his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa on Saturday, in a bid to reassert the U.S. as the leading partner to the world's youngest and likely to be most populous continent amid strong Chinese influence and a growing Russian presence.

'We're definitely not prepared': Africa braces for new virus

  'We're definitely not prepared': Africa braces for new virus At a Chinese-run hospital in Zambia, some employees watched as people who recently returned from China showed up with coughs but were not placed in isolation. A doctor tending to those patients has stopped coming to work, and health workers have been ordered not to speak publicly about the new virus that has killed hundreds around the world. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Pompeo Is Leading a Foreign-Policy Farce. The secretary of state says Trump wants to lead the global order he’s actually destroying. In attacking multilateralism, Pompeo claimed that the Trump administration’s mission is “ to reassert our sovereignty … and we want our friends to help us and

“The more treaties we sign, the safer we supposedly are. The more bureaucrats we have, the better In attacking multilateralism, Pompeo claimed that the Trump administration’s mission is “ to reassert Trump has threatened to invade Venezuela and to punish South Africa for its land-reform policies.

The top U.S. diplomat will visit Senegal, Angola and Ethiopia, describing them as "three countries in various stages of development in their transition to democracy and their stability."

MORE: Nigeria 'somewhat blindsided' by Trump's new travel ban, restricting immigration from the country

His major themes will include promoting trade with the U.S., good governance and the rule of law, while also urging African officials and business leaders to eschew Chinese investment.

But he will face considerable headwinds because of the Trump administration's lack of engagement with Africa, President Donald Trump's reported disparaging remarks about the continent and several new policies, including proposing budget cuts for African programs, expanding the president's travel ban to include nearly a quarter of the continent's population and potentially cutting back the U.S. military's presence.

Pompeo urges U.S. state governors to be cautious in business with China

  Pompeo urges U.S. state governors to be cautious in business with China U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged governors of U.S. states and territories on Saturday to adopt a "cautious mindset" when engaging in business with China, saying Beijing was seeking to use U.S. openness to undermine the United States. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); In a speech to the National Governors Association in Washington Pompeo said China was pursuing a policy of exploiting U.S. freedoms to "gain advantage over us at the federal level, the state level and the local level.

PM to meet leaders of Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa in push to boost post-Brexit trade.

The poverty in much of Africa is usually what strikes first -time visitors the most. You will see beggars and you may not know how to respond. Assume nothing is free: While hospitable and friendly folk are everywhere in Africa , be careful when you're in a touristy area and you're offered something for "free."

"The challenge that Pompeo's facing in Africa is explaining the contradictory messages coming from Washington," said Witney Schneidman, a fellow at the Brookings Institution's Africa Growth Initiative. "It's the lack of attention that's been paid. It's the fact that (former national security adviser John) Bolton rolled out this Africa strategy 14 months ago, and since then, very little has been accomplished where many other nations have moved forward."

Pompeo's trip will mark the first by a Trump cabinet official there in 19 months, after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross visited Ethiopia, Kenya, Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana and pledged the U.S. would facilitate $1 billion of private-sector deals in July 2018. Trump's previous Secretary of State Rex Tillerson only visited once in his 13 months on the job, getting fired the day after returning from Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Chad and Nigeria.

Panthers owner David Tepper gives update on Cam Newton’s future

  Panthers owner David Tepper gives update on Cam Newton’s future Cam Newton hasn't looked like himself in a while, and David Tepper knows it.

BAGHDAD — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo scrapped a visit to Germany on Tuesday to make an unannounced trip to Iraq, pressing Iraqi “ First of all, we talked to them about the importance of Iraq ensuring that it’s able to adequately protect Americans in their country,” Mr. Pompeo told reporters

A state bill that sought to criminalize medical interventions for transgender young people was voted down on Monday after a vocal alliance of advocates shared stories of struggle with identity, winning over enough Republican lawmakers to put the legislation in peril.

MORE: White House unveils new strategy for Africa to counter Russian and Chinese influence

Still, African officials are largely willing to look past that and eager for increased U.S. investment, especially as an alternative to Chinese financing, with its excessive amounts of credit, tied to steep interest rates and high risk of forfeiture.

That's a message that Pompeo, one of the administration's lead China hawks, has carried on nearly all his foreign trips, warning Southeast Asian countries of China's "debt-trap diplomacy" or Western European allies against using Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant that leads in 5G technology. Just last Saturday, he warned China is always "working you ... working the team around you" in a speech to U.S. governors.

But African leaders already know all that, according to Ahmadou Aly Mbaye, economics professor at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal, who said that they want to hear what the U.S. will do to help them finance their economic growth and provide for their burgeoning populations instead.

"The needs for investment are huge, in particular, in terms of infrastructure investment," Mbaye said, but, "The existing routes the West and the U.S. are using have shown their limitations. The World Bank and Western international organizations provide very little to fill in these gaps. ... If you remove China, you have almost nothing left."

White House Memo Justifying Suleimani Strike Cites No Imminent Threat

  White House Memo Justifying Suleimani Strike Cites No Imminent Threat The White House told Congress on Friday that President Trump authorized the strike last month that killed Iran’s most important general to respond to attacks that had already taken place and deter future ones, contradicting the president’s claim that he acted in response to an imminent threat. In a legally mandated, two-page unclassified memo to lawmakers, the White House asserted that the strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani was “in response to an escalating series of attacks in preceding months” by Iran and Iran-backed militias.

Pompeo told reporters traveling with him on Thursday that he wants to talk to leaders in all three countries and at the African Union about encouraging economic reforms to increase market access, combat corruption and promote the rule of law -- all of which would bring more American investment, he said.

That will be a particularly important message in Ethiopia, as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed pushes to liberalize the economy by privatizing state monopolies, and in Angola, where President Joao Lourenco has tackled corruption and tried to shift the country off economic dependence on oil exports. Pompeo said the U.S. could also provide technical assistance to help spur these reforms.

To that end, Trump may host African leaders for a U.S.-Africa investment summit in Washington, co-hosted by South Africa, according to Lana Marks, the U.S. ambassador in Pretoria and a close Trump friend.

MORE: Pentagon to decide soon on possible troop cut in West Africa

The administration also requested in its new FY 2021 budget $800 million for the Development Finance Corporation, a newly created government agency that provides financing for private development projects. That's more than double the $299 million Congress gave it in fiscal year 2020.

Trump's budget proposal also sought an additional $50 million for its Prosper Africa initiative to increase two- way trade, for a new total of $75 million. But overall, the budget proposal slashes assistance to Africa by 39%, or $3.23 billion, and funding for key health programs in Africa like the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, which would see a 26% cut.

Iranian president: Trump worries war with Iran will 'ruin' 2020 chances

  Iranian president: Trump worries war with Iran will 'ruin' 2020 chances Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed that President Trump is unlikely to engage in a war with the country because of the forthcoming presidential election in the United States. © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.Speaking at a news conference on Sunday, Rouhani said that war with Iran would “ruin" Trump's chances of being reelected in November. He also pointed out the harm a war would cause to not only the U.S. but also to American interests and allies in the Middle East region. “I think the Americans aren't after war since they know what harm it could do them,” Rouhani said.

There is a similar contradiction in the administration's military posture across the continent. Senior officials, including Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy, have warned for months now about the deteriorating security situation in the Sahel, the region situated between the Sahara desert and the savanna and stretching across the continent from Senegal and Mauritania to Sudan and Ethiopia.

With terrorist fighters and weapons flowing south from Libya, the Sahel has seen a dramatic rise in terrorist attacks -- with Nagy warning in November that the U.S. and European strategy to contain it was not working: "We need to have a much, much more robust engagement. There has to be much more robust coordination."

MORE: On day one of Africa trip, Tillerson still cleaning up Trumps derogatory comments

But the Pentagon is currently reviewing whether to slash its troop presence in West Africa. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday no decision had been made about the U.S. counterterrorism mission there, but the Pentagon announced Wednesday that about one thousand service members would depart as part of a change in mission in East Africa, where a special Army unit to train local partner forces will replace members of an Army infantry division.

Even that scaling down "makes very little sense," according to Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow also with Brookings, who called it "an overly narrow fixation on pulling forces out of Africa and elsewhere in order to get them closer to Russia and China" and position them for "great power" competition, as Trump's national security strategy says.

Mbaye said any cuts to troop totals in the Sahel would be "very, very worrisome."

Pompeo meets Saudi king in talks focused on Iranian threats .
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Thursday in a visit focused primarily on discussing shared security concerns about regional rival Iran. Ahead of his arrival in the capital Riyadh, Pompeo said he'd also raise with the Saudi leadership concerns about human rights and the cases of dual Saudi-American citizens who are either imprisoned in the kingdom or barred from traveling abroad.

Topical videos:

usr: 1
This is interesting!