Washington DC, 3 August 2022 (TDI): The US Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken announced on Tuesday that he commenced his visit to the Indo-Pacific and African region.

He said that he would be visiting states including Cambodia, the Philippines, Rwanda, and South Africa.

Schedule of the visit

Before Antony Blinken’s trip took off for Cambodia, the office of the Spokesperson announced the schedule of his visit on Friday. According to it, the trip would last till the 12th of August.

During his visit to the Philippines, South Africa, Rwanda, and the Republic of Congo, the Secretary of State would meet government representatives of these states. In their meetings, strengthening US relations with these states would be of top priority.

Moreover, trade opportunities in the domain of energy, investment, health, and infrastructure would also be discussed. Their meetings will also include discussions on global issues like climate change and food security.

Visit to Cambodia

Secretary Blinken’s first stop during the trip would be Cambodia. In Cambodia, Secretary Blinken will be attending three ministerial conferences.

These conferences are the U.S.-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and the ASEAN Regional Forum.

In the Ministerial meetings, Antony J. Blinken will address the impacts of COVID-19, climate change, the crisis in Burma, and Russia’s war in Ukraine. He will emphasize America’s support for a unified ASEAN.

Moreover, secretary Blinken will also engage with alumni of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative.

Visit to Phillipines

In Manila, the Philippines, on August 6, the Secretary will meet with President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo.

They will discuss bilateral efforts to strengthen the U.S.-Philippines alliance through increased cooperation in different sectors. These areas include energy, trade, and investment.

Visit to South Africa

The Secretary will launch the U.S. Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa. It reinforces the U.S. view that African countries are geostrategic players and critical partners on the most pressing issues of our day.

The Secretary of State will also join in the celebration of National Women’s Day in South Africa. He will lead the US delegation to the US-South Africa Strategic Dialogue to reinforce and deepen bilateral cooperation on global issues.

Visit to DRC

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, he will meet with government officials to highlight the importance of free, inclusive, and fair elections in the coming year, including the need of protecting fundamental freedom and respect for human rights.

Visit to Rwanda 

Lastly, in Rwanda, the Secretary of state will meet with senior Rwandan government officials and civil society members to discuss shared priorities, including peacekeeping. He will raise concerns about democracy and human rights situations in the state.

Secretary Blinken also plans to emphasize the issues of transnational repression and limiting political opposition. Moreover, he will also address the wrongful detention of U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident Paul Rusesabagina.