Diplomacy: PM to head for US-Africa Leaders Summit due next week

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Prime Minister (PM) Pravind Jugnauth is set to go to the US capital, Washington D.C., joining more than 40 African leaders scheduled to attend the US-Africa Leaders Summit to be held between December 13 to 15. The summit is scheduled to discuss themes such as great private sector participation in African development, peace and security, democracy and human rights, global health, climate change, diaspora engagement, education and youth leadership. “I look forward to working with African governments, civil society, diaspora communities across the United States, and the private sector to continue strengthening our shared vision for the future of US-Africa relations,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement, referring to the upcoming summit.

In the leadup to the summit, African states have pushed for bilateral meetings with the US President, but at the time of writing, it had not been finalized which African leaders would be meeting with Biden on a one-toone basis. Most African leaders going to the summit would be meeting with the US president solely through a dinner hosted by Biden for visiting African leaders and a group photo. Similarly, at the last such summit held in 2014, too, there were no bilateral meetings publicized either.

The Mauritian PM is heading to Washington D.C. as both Mauritius and the UK have announced that they are ready to start talks on the future of the Chagos archipelago and expecting to reach an agreement by early 2023. Both sides affirmed that one of the conditions for such an agreement would be the continued running of the strategicallyimportant US military base on the island of Diego Garcia, with both London and Port Louis affirming that both the US and India would be kept abreast of the talks over the Chagos.

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