Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

US says Africom not on the agenda for SA talks

US government officials travelling with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denied on Friday that US military bases in Africa was on the agenda for talks during her visit to South Africa.

The Mail & Guardian reported that Clinton planned to win South African support for the controversial US Africa Command (Africom). In briefings with the ambassador-designate Donald Gips in Washington, it appeared that Africom would be a priority for US President Barack Obama’s administration and Clinton’s visit should pave the way for support from South Africa.

“With Zuma, the thinking is they will get Africom. The state department says this visit is about trade, but peacekeeping is very important,” a source at the briefing told the M&G.

Gips is accompanying Clinton on her visit and is expected to take up residence in South Africa in September.

Clinton aide Philip Cowley categorically denied on Friday that the issue was on the agenda for talks.

Assistant secretary for Africa, Johnnie Carson, expressed surprise at the M&G report.

Sources said the US government hoped to find Zuma’s government more receptive to Africom. Under former president Thabo Mbeki, South Africa opposed the plan.

Recent meetings between US defence officials and Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu are said to have given the US hope that Africom will be better received.

“We met with South Africans and they were happy to talk to us,” a US official said.

Clinton is scheduled to meet Zuma on Saturday.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Environmental groups welcome China’s pledge on coal

Will China’s end of coal finance be the final nail in the coffin for MMESZ?

More top stories

Environmental groups welcome China’s pledge on coal

Will China’s end of coal finance be the final nail in the coffin for MMESZ?

No more cash for coal says FirstRand says

The bank’s chief risk officer says banks can’t stand on the sidelines of the climate crisis debate

Zuma’s health not relevant, says his lawyer

With legal challenges to his medical parole looming, the former president’s lawyers opted to first argue for the removal of the prosecutor
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×