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Statement on the U.S Secretary Blinken’s Travel to Cambodia, the Philippines, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda

Press Statement
Ned Price, Department Spokesperson
July 29, 2022

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will travel to Cambodia, the Philippines, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda August 2-12, 2022.

Secretary Blinken will first travel to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, August 3-5 to participate in the U.S.-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and the ASEAN Regional Forum.  At each ministerial, the Secretary will emphasize 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 U.S. support for ASEAN and efforts to strengthen our bilateral relationship with Cambodia.  Secretary Blinken will also engage with alumni of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative.

In Manila, the Philippines, on August 6, the Secretary will meet with President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo to discuss bilateral efforts to strengthen the U.S.-Philippines alliance, including through increased cooperation on energy, trade, and investment, advancing our shared democratic values, and pandemic recovery.

Then, Secretary Blinken will travel to South Africa August 7-9.  The Secretary will launch the U.S. Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, which reinforces the U.S. 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 U.S. delegation to the U.S.-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.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo on August 9-10, the Secretary will meet with senior DRC government officials and members of civil society to discuss our mutual interest in ensuring free, inclusive, and fair elections in 2023, promoting respect for human rights and protecting fundamental freedoms.  He will also focus on combating corruption, supporting trade and investment, addressing the climate crisis, building agricultural resilience, and support regional African efforts to advance peace in eastern DRC and the broader Great Lakes region.

Finally, the Secretary will travel to Rwanda on August 10-12, where he will meet with senior Rwandan government officials and civil society members to discuss shared priorities, including peacekeeping.  The Secretary will focus on the role the government of Rwanda can play in reducing tensions and ongoing violence in eastern DRC.  He will also raise democracy and human rights concerns, including transnational repression, limiting space for dissent and political opposition, and the wrongful detention of U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident Paul Rusesabagina.

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