WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The United States Department of State announced Monday that Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will lead a U.S. delegation to the African Union Summit this week.
The ten-person American delegation will travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this week to meet with AU officials. According to a State Department press release, "The delegation will meet with a variety of AU and regional officials to discuss how the United States and the AU are working together toward important shared priorities for Africa."
On Monday, the AU Commission announced its top priorities for African peace and security. Those priorities include ending conflict, strengthening institutional effectiveness, and increasing agricultural productivity. Chairperson of the AU Executive Council and Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus focused his attention on the conflicts in South Sudan and the Central African Republic, noting "there is no justification for the continuation of the crises in both places even for a day."
Burns will be accompanied by Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Deputy to the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Rexon Ryu, U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth, U.S. Special Envoy for the Great Lakes and the DRC Russell D. Feingold, USAID Associate Administrator Mark Feierstein, USAID Assistant Administrator for Africa Earl Gast and Acting Assistant to the Administrator for Food Security Tjada McKenna, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa Florizelle Liser, and Special Assistant to the President and NSC Senior Director for African Affairs Grant Harris.