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President Ramaphosa arrives in Washington for working visit

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has arrived in Washington D.C. on a working visit which will see him meet with both the Vice President Kamala Harris and later US President Joe Biden at the White House on Friday.

The two leaders will meet at the White House to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest, including trade and investment, climate change, food security, energy, and peace and security.

Ramaphosa will also meet with Congressional leaders and members of the anti-apartheid lobby while in the United States capital before departing for London to attend the funeral of late Queen Elizabeth II on Monday.

While it’s a short visit, the issues are weighty with areas of discussion expected to focus on global security, the economy, trade and investment, climate mitigation and adaptation and public health among others.

Ramaphosa will have a breakfast meeting with VP Kamala Harris on Friday before a lunchtime meeting with President Biden at the White House.

A joint-press conference between the leaders has been suggested but not confirmed with further guidance expected from the Presidency.

Spokesperson for President Ramaphosa, Vincent Magwenya says: “South Africa and the United States enjoy historic and cordial relations. The US is a major export market for South Africa, a significant source of foreign direct investment (FDI), and a partner in technology transfer, development assistance and tourism.”

Ramaphosa was expected to head on to New York for the high-level meetings of the General Assembly but that also now remains unclear in the wake of the Queen’s funeral.

Meanwhile, Senior Director of the Atlantic Council and former French Ambassador to UNESCO Rama Yade says the US must change its policy on Africa: “Sometimes we have the feeling that Africa is interesting, from a Washington point of view, is interesting only when we talk about Russia or China. The challenge and also the opportunity is how can the US change its own policy on Africa. That’s the best answer to provide to Chinese investors – just improve your own policy and you will see you will have no competition on the African continent.”

 

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