Obama unlikely to meet AU chair Mugabe

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US President Barack Obama will be touring the African Union (AU) headquarters in Ethiopia during his visit to Africa but will likely not meet the AU chairperson, Zimbabwean PresidentRobert Mugabe, according to News 24 . Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe took over the post of African Union chairperson, replacing Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.

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Mugabe is also the current chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Obama, who is set to visit Kenya and Ethiopia later in July, is scheduled to tour the AU headquarters and meet the bloc’s secretariat.

According to News Day, Zimbabwe’s foreign affairs secretary Joey Bimha confirmed that government had not “received any indication” from Obama that he would want to meet Mugabe during his visit.

US Congressman Gregory Simpkins, who is currently in Harare, was reportedly not clear on the issue and only said he did not think Obama would avoid the veteran leader.

The US embassy in Harare said it was not aware of any planned meeting between the two leaders.

Relations between the US and Zimbabwe have remained frosty for years over allegations of human rights abuses levelled against Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF party.

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