Obama unlikely to meet AU chair Mugabe – report

2015-07-02 14:19
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. (File: AP)

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. (File: AP)

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Cape Town – US President Barack Obama will be touring the African Union (AU) headquarters in Ethiopia during his visit to Africa but will likely not meet the AU chairperson, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, a report said.

Mugabe is also the current chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Obama, who is set to visit Kenya and Ethiopia later this month, is scheduled to tour the AU headquarters and meet the bloc's secretariat.  

According to News Day, Zimbabwe's foreign affairs secretary Joey Bimha confirmed that government had not "received any indication" from Obama that he would want to meet Mugabe during his visit.

Global entrepreneurship summit

US Congressman Gregory Simpkins, who is currently in Harare, was reportedly not clear on the issue and only said he did not think Obama would avoid the veteran leader.

The US embassy in Harare said it was not aware of any planned meeting between the two leaders.

Relations between the US and Zimbabwe have remained frosty for years over allegations of human rights abuses levelled against Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF party.

Obama’s visit to Kenya would be his first as president. He was heavily criticised for failing to visit the land of his father’s birth during his first term as president.

The Guardian reported in March that Obama planned to hold bilateral meetings and attend a global entrepreneurship summit in Ethiopia.

He previously visited Kenya as a US senator in 2006 and made a trip with his then fiancée Michelle in 1992.

It was not clear whether he would visit family members.

Read more on:    au  |  sadc  |  robert mugabe  |  barack obam  |  kenya  |  ethiopia  |  east africa

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