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US Secretary of State Blinken will join Women’s Day celebrations in South Africa

United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken. File Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken. File Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Published Aug 4, 2022

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Pretoria – South Africa will host US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken who will be in Pretoria for a South Africa-United States Strategic Dialogue.

In a media alert on Thursday, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said Blinken will be hosted by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor.

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“The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, is scheduled to host the Secretary of State of the United States of America, Mr Antony Blinken, on Monday, August 8, 2022, in Pretoria, on the occasion of the South Africa-United States Strategic Dialogue,” Dirco said.

In a statement issued from Washington last week, US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price said Blinken would travel to Cambodia, the Philippines, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda.

The multi-nation tour began on Tuesday and would be wrapped on Friday next week.

“Secretary Blinken will first travel to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, August 3-5 to participate in the US-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and the ASEAN Regional Forum.  At each ministerial, the Secretary will emphasise the United States’ commitment to ASEAN centrality and successful implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

“He will also address the Covid-19 pandemic, economic cooperation, the fight against climate change, the crisis in Burma, and Russia’s war in Ukraine. The Secretary will meet bilaterally with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn to discuss US support for ASEAN and efforts to strengthen our bilateral relationship with Cambodia,” said Price.

After visiting Philippines, Blinken will be in South Africa from Sunday until Tuesday.

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“The Secretary will launch the US Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, which reinforces the US view that African countries are geostrategic players and critical partners on the most pressing issues of our day, from promoting an open and stable international system, to tackling the effects of climate change, food insecurity and global pandemics, to shaping our technological and economic futures.

‘In Pretoria, he will lead the US delegation to the US-South Africa Strategic Dialogue to reinforce and deepen our commitment to bilateral cooperation on global issues as well as a wide range of shared priorities, including health, infrastructure, trade and investment, and climate. In Johannesburg, he will join in the South African celebration of national Women’s Day,” Price said.

Annually, the month of August is dedicated as Women’s Month in South Africa. On August 9, Women’s Day, South Africa pays tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on August 9, 1956 in protest against the extension of pass laws to women.

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Earlier this week, amid simmering tensions with People’s Republic of China, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi toured Taiwan, prompting a furious response from Beijing which insists the visit seriously violates the one-China principle.

IOL

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