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US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will arrive in Ethiopia on a two day visit on January 29-30, a statement from the US department of state announced.

During his visit Deputy Secretary Burns “will lead the U.S. delegation to the African Union (AU) Summit,” the statement said.

The visit by Deputy Secretary Burns will focus on his meeting meet with African leaders “to bolster cooperation with African partners on economic, governance and security issues, including the situations in the Central African Republic and South Sudan.”   But he will also discuss preparations for the upcoming U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, in which President Obama invited 47 African Heads of State and Government.  The summit is scheduled to take place on August 5-6 in Washington, D.C.

Ghana, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania were the only countries in Sub-Saharan Africa where President Obama paid a visit since he came to power in 2008. His first visit was the North African Arab state of Egypt.

After his inexplicable absence from the 50th anniversary of the OAU/AU celebrations in May 2013, an event many said would have presented President Obama a chance to meet as many African leaders as he could, the U.S-Africa leaders summit will be the first, and perhaps only, single largest face-to-face meeting between the president and leaders from Africa, a continent where the President’s father hailed from.

In addition to his travel to Ethiopia Deputy Secretary Burs will visit Amman, Jordan on January 27-28.

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