Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi. File photo: AP Photo/Jerome Delay.

JOHANNESURG – The US State Department has confirmed that Democratic Republic of Congo’s new President Felix Tshisekedi will meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and other senior cabinet officials in President Donald Trump’s administration, to discuss strengthening economic and security ties between the two countries.

Spokesman Robert Palladino said Tshisekedi will visit Washington from 3 to 5 April for meetings, but it remains unclear whether the DRC president will meet with Trump, the East African reported.

“We share President Tshisekedi’s interest in developing a strong partnership between the US and the DRC,” Palladino told a briefing.

The détente comes after Washington imposed sanctions on senior DRC officials for fraud and corruption following last December’s presidential election which Tshisekedi secured in Congo’s first transfer of power via the ballot box.

Despite the targeting of the country’s electoral commission chief and advisors, Tshisekedi’s victory has not been questioned by Washington.

Efforts to fight the Ebola outbreak are also to be discussed during the meetings as there are now more than 1,000 cases with a death toll of 629. This is the world’s second most serious outbreak of the disease.

African News Agency (ANA)