Tillerson Cancels Appearance At Kenyan PEPFAR Event, Cuts Africa Trip Short Due To Illness, Other Foreign Policy Developments

Associated Press: Illness sidelines U.S. secretary of state for a day in Africa
“U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson canceled his scheduled events Saturday in Kenya because he was sick. … An event Saturday for PEPFAR, the U.S. program to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa, went ahead without Tillerson. … Tillerson arrived in Kenya on Friday afternoon for the third stop on his five-country tour of Africa…” (Lederman, 3/10).

Bloomberg Politics: Tillerson to Resume African Schedule on Sunday After Falling Ill
“…Tillerson had planned on Saturday to visit a site run by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, and then lay a wreath at the site of the August 1998 bombing of the American Embassy in downtown Nairobi. U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec attended the PEPFAR event alone, and the State Department was looking at rescheduling the wreath-laying ceremony, [Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein] said…” (Wadhams, 3/10).

Devex: On Africa trip, Tillerson blames clearance issues for diplomatic vacancies
“…In a speech at George Mason University right before leaving on the trip, Tillerson said one of the reasons he is visiting Kenya, in particular, is the country’s success in the implementation of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. … But this program was on the chopping block in Trump’s budget request … This is the second year that the White House’s budget proposals have called for funding cuts to global efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. Congress rejected those cuts and maintained levels of spending of PEPFAR…” (Jerving, 3/9).

New York Times: Tillerson’s Nairobi Visit Highlights Proposed Spending Cuts
“… Mr. Tillerson … was due to visit an HIV/AIDS clinic on Saturday where a handful of young women were going to explain how vital the program is, but the visit was canceled because he was sick. In interviews, the women said they were deeply concerned about the proposed cutbacks. … Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill have vowed to preserve PEPFAR’s funding…” (Harris, 3/11).

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