US Secretary of State forced to cancel activities in Kenya

Marsha Scott
March 11, 2018

The plane carrying United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson touched the ground at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi on Friday evening.

"The secretary is not feeling well after a long couple days working on major issues back home such as North Korea and has canceled his events for the day", under-secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs Steve Goldstein told reporters, quoted in Reuters.

During the trip he has also been involved behind the scenes in discussions within the administration on a possible meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Officials accompanying Mr Tillerson, 65, on his five-nation tour of Africa did not specify his illness but it is understood not to be serious.

The US diplomat, who arrived in Nairobi on Friday, had been due to visit the AIDS-relief programme PEPFAR on Saturday and also attend a ceremony marking 20 years since Al-Qaeda bombed the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 people.

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The North Korea announcement came well after midnight for Tillerson, who was then in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The US Secretary of State appreciated the cooperation between his country and Kenya on security in Somalia and South Sudan, saying the US stood ready to offer additional assistance whenever called upon to do so.

He plans to spend another day in Nairobi before heading to Chad and Nigeria on Monday and Tuesday.

Some of the events planned for Saturday in the capital of Nairobi will go on without him, but others may be rescheduled for later in the trip.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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