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US opens Africa summit with call for political tolerance

Published on Aug 5, 2014 9:02 AM
 
US Secretary of State John Kerry during the Civil Society Forum on the sideline of the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC, on August 4, 2014. The US urged African leaders on Monday to respect political differences, saying that core democratic principles are vital to achieving long-term economic growth. -- PHOTO: AFP 

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States urged African leaders on Monday to respect political differences, saying that core democratic principles are vital to achieving long-term economic growth.

The call came at the start of an unprecedented US-Africa summit in Washington attended by 35 presidents, nine prime ministers, three vice presidents, two foreign ministers and a king.

The three-day program of talks marks one of President Barack Obama's biggest initiatives for Africa, against the backdrop of an Ebola outbreak and several security crises on the continent.

Washington is seeking stronger economic ties with Africa, having found itself outpaced by China and Europe on a continent where the International Monetary Fund expects to see 5.4 percent growth this year and 5.8 the next.

 
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