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Obama visit will magnify Senegal democracy – US envoy

President Barack Obama’s visit to Dakar will be putting the state of democracy in Senegal in a positive light and strengthen ties between his country and West Africa, Lewis Lukens, the US ambassador asserted on Thursday. Senegal is the only West African country President Obama will visit during his Africa tour.

Through this trip, the US president looks forward to reinforce his country’s reputation as a paragon of democracy and also strengthen relations between the United States and West African countries, Mr. Lukens said at the inauguration of the new premises of the West African Research Center (WARC).

Mr. Obama will from June 26 to July 3, 2013 make his first major Africa tour since coming to office by visiting Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.

Apart from Ghana, which he briefly visited in 2009, Barack Obama has never travelled to Black Africa as president.

“Once in Dakar, Mr. Obama will have a series of discussions with West African CSOs”, Lewis Lukens disclosed, pointing out that the US leader had intended to visit Senegal during the course of his first term in office but the global economic crisis ended up botching his plans.

In a statement sent to APA on Thursday, the Senegalese presidential press service indicated that President Macky Sall was looking forward to welcoming Obama to Senegal.

On March 28, 2013, Barack Obama received Macky Sall, along with three other elected African leaders in Washington and hailed their countries as “strong and emerging democracies.”

“Senegal and the US enjoy a strong friendship and cooperation, links grounded on shared values of peace, openness, democracy and respect for human rights. Obama’s visit occurring after President Sall’s trip to Washington D.C on March 28 is a token of the two leaders’ common desire to work together towards strengthening these special relations” the statement concluded.

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