Obama to invite 47 leaders to US-Africa summit and 22nd African Union summit begins
Dated: January 24, 2014
President Obama to invite 47 leaders to US-Africa summit in August...
President Barack Obama will invite 47 leaders to a landmark US-Africa summit in August 2014, seeking to widen US trade, development and security ties with an increasingly dynamic continent to which he traces part of his ancestry.
Obama will send out invites to all African nations that are currently in good standing with the United States or are not suspended from the African Union – meaning there will be no place for states like Egypt or Zimbabwe.
Obama will hold the talks on August 5 and 6, seeking to cement progress from his trip to Africa last year.
A White House statement said the trip would “advance the administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa, and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people.”
The idea for the summit was first announced by Obama in a speech in Cape Town in June.
Egypt, which has caused the Obama administration to thread a foreign policy needle with an erstwhile ally after a military takeover, is not eligible to attend as it is currently suspended from the African Union. Egypt said on Wednesday it was “very surprised” by the decision.
Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelbati said the US decision was a “mistake” and displayed a “lack of vision.”
“Egypt was very surprised by the US statement about its reasons, especially as the summit is not being held under the auspices of the African Union and is simply a summit between the United States and African countries,” the spokesman said.
Other notable absentees on the invite list include Sudan and Madagascar.