Democratic Republic of Congo’s president Felix Tshisekedi was on Tuesday welcomed to the United States by the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, kicking off what should be an exploration of ways to develop a strong partnership between the two countries.
The United States has imposed sanctions on Congolese officials it accuses of manipulating the election that brought Tshisekedi into power.
Last week, the spokesperson of the State Department Robert Palladino, said Pompeo and other senior cabinet officials in the Trump administration, would also discuss efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak in the violence-plagued eastern region of DRC.
We are not going to Washington to talk about our internal problems.
It is not yet clear whether the Congolese head of state will meet his counterpart, Donald Trump.
What Tshisekedi said about US trip
The DRC presidency has indicated that this first trip of the new head of state should cover political, security and trade aspects.
While opponent Martin Fayulu preceded President Tshisekedi in Washington and the Congolese press have reported of a possible meeting between the two former allies, the president ruled out that possibility.
‘‘We are not going to Washington to talk about our internal problems. Those will be addressed in Congo. We will rather talk about common interests, peace, security and development in the DRC,” Tshisekedi said while in Dakar where he attended Macky Sall’s inauguration, before flying to the United States.
Tshisekedi is also expected to meet Congolese living in the United States.ALSO READ: Tshisekedi’s shuttle diplomacy heads to US after visits to 6 African nations