Washington D.C, 3 June 2022 (TDI): The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, held a meeting with the Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Foreign Minister Christophe Lutundula and Secretary Blinken discussed efforts to promote peace and stability in eastern DRC. Violence and conflict in the eastern DRC region is on the rise.

The Secretary noted recent attacks by M23 and other armed groups while he urged de-escalation from all parties.

The M23 is a rebel movement in North Kivu which has seen a resurgence in recent weeks. Furthermore, due to allegations of Rwandan support for the rebellion, relations between the neighbors have soured.

He further stressed the importance of continued regional dialogue to deal with the ongoing conflict under the Nairobi initiative.

Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Lutundula also highlighted the importance of transparent and effective planning for the DRC’s 2023 elections.

Moreover, they discussed bilateral cooperation and US assistance in the sectors of health and development.

USA-DRC Relations

Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1960 after the latter’s independence from Belgium. The United States supported and allied with the country in the context of the Cold War in Africa.

The United States sees political stability in the DRC important for the whole region.

The US policy towards one of the largest African countries, both by land and population, focuses on supporting democracy, effective governance, stability, and peace.

Furthermore, both countries signed the “Privileged Partnership for Peace and Prosperity” to enhance cooperation on mutual interests in 2019.

Additionally, the United States is the DRC’s largest bilateral donor.

It is also the largest financial contributor to the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).

Congo has faced wars and conflicts within its territory and with its neighbors in recent history. However, the country had a democratic election in 2018, after which a peaceful transition of power occurred.

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