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08:02, 21 March 2018 Wednesday
13:49, 08 March 2018 Thursday

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US warns Africa against N.Korea's nuclear ambitions
US warns Africa against N.Korea's nuclear ambitions

US secretary of state expresses discomfort at growing Chinese influence in continent

World Bulletin / News Desk

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday called on African nations to join Washington in putting pressure on North Korea to quit its nuclear program.

Tillerson began the first leg of his five-nation Africa tour with a visit to Ethiopia after he arrived in the capital Addis Ababa on Wednesday.

He met African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat with whom he discussed economic partnership and collaboration against terrorism.

“African countries can contribute to [putting pressure on] North Korea,” Tillerson said.

The U.S. has long stressed that North Korea must demonstrate its willingness to denuclearize before being rewarded with dialogue.

Washington has led many of its own sanctions in addition to global punitive measures aimed at reining in Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

Tillerson expressed Washington's discomfort at China's growing influence in Africa.

“African countries should carefully consider terms of investments [by China] in Africa,” he said.

Tillerson said China was encouraging dependency in Africa through its infrastructure and other support.

Analysts say the U.S. policy towards Africa has strings attached, while China has not placed any such conditions.

In direct response to Tillerson's comments, Mahamat said African nations were well aware of their priorities and the nature of their foreign partners.

He said he was satisfied with his discussions with the U.S. secretary of state, which ranged from security and economy to trade and commerce.

Earlier, Tillerson announced $533 million in food security assistance for Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia and the Lake Chad region.


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