December 2, 2022

Alex o'Loughlin

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U.S. Top Diplomat Blinken to Travel to Southeast Asia, Africa Next Week

By Simon Lewis and David Brunnstrom

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Cambodia for a U.S.-ASEAN minister’s assembly upcoming 7 days in the course of which he will deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, climate transform, Myanmar and the war in Ukraine, the Condition Division reported on Friday.

Soon after three meetings relating to the regional bloc in Phnom Penh on Aug. 3-5, Blinken will vacation to Manila and satisfy with President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos and Overseas Secretary Enrique Manalo to go over initiatives to improve the U.S.-Philippine alliance, officials mentioned.

Assistant Secretary of Point out for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink, briefing reporters on the journey, reported Blinken would urge other nations at the regional forum to “step up pressure” on Myanmar’s ruling junta soon after it executed 4 activists this week.

“This is just the hottest example of the regime’s brutality,” he said of the executions.

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There were no options for Blinken to sit down with Chinese International Minister Wang Yi, reported Kritenbrink, who did not rule out an informal “pull apart” on the sidelines of the regional forum.

South Africa will be the prime U.S. diplomat’s upcoming quit, on Aug. 7-9, followed by visits to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.  

“The Secretary will emphasis on the position the federal government of Rwanda can participate in in decreasing tensions and ongoing violence in japanese DRC,” the statement claimed.

In Rwanda, he will also increase the “wrongful detention” of U.S. everlasting resident Paul Rusesabagina, the section explained.

Rusesabagina, 67, was sentenced in September 2021 to 25 many years in jail around eight terrorism charges tied to an corporation opposed to Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s rule. He has denied all the rates and refused to take portion in the demo that he and his supporters have called a political sham.

“We have been very very clear with the government of Rwanda about our worries about his scenario, his trial and his conviction, particularly the deficiency of truthful trial ensures in his scenario,” mentioned Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Phee.

(Reporting by Simon Lewis, David Brunnstrom and Doina Chiacu Enhancing by Nick Zieminski and Marguerita Choy)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.