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Pompeo visits Angola on second stop of 3-nation Africa tour

By
Don Jacobson
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks with local business leaders during a trip Monday in Luanda, Angola. Pompeo will visit Ethiopia Tuesday and Wednesday before returning to the United States. Photo courtesy Mike Pompeo/Twitter
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks with local business leaders during a trip Monday in Luanda, Angola. Pompeo will visit Ethiopia Tuesday and Wednesday before returning to the United States. Photo courtesy Mike Pompeo/Twitter

Feb. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Angola Monday on the second leg of a three-nation tour of sub-Saharan Africa that's intended to strengthen economic and security ties.

Pompeo wrapped a visit to Senegal on Sunday, before setting off for Angola, where he met with President Macky Sall and Foreign Minister Amadou Ba to discuss terrorism in the Sahel region, deepening bilateral trade and "countering threats" from Iran and North Korea.

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Pompeo arrived Monday in Luanda and began a 24-hour visit to oil-rich Angola by meeting with a group of women entrepreneurs. Pompeo's first Africa visit will wrap Wednesday in Ethiopia.

The State Department said one of the goals of the trip is to stimulate trade and investment with the United States, which depends on instituting political and economic reforms such as eliminating corruption.

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Pompeo was scheduled to meet Monday with Angolan President Joao Lourenco, whose election in 2017 "marked a milestone in its transition to democracy" by electing its first new president in 38 years, U.S. officials said.

Lourenco has committed to fighting corruption and is cooperating with the U.S. Treasury to fight money laundering and terrorism financing. The United States has also invested nearly $34 million in Angola to combat malaria, polio, and HIV and AIDS.

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Pompeo was also scheduled to meet with Angolan Foreign Minister Manuel Domingos Augusto and local business leaders before traveling to Ethiopia.

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The United States is seeking counter China's growing influence in Africa, where Beijing has used debt financing to build infrastructure. The perception of the United States has taken a hit in the region over orders by President Donald Trump for security-related travel bans against six African nations.

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