Rex Tillerson shortens African tour over ‘schedule demands’
London, March 12, 2018 (AltAfrika)-US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson will cut short his maiden tour of Africa by one day because of work, aides said.
“Due to demands in the secretary’s schedule, he is returning to the US one day early, after concluding official meetings in Chad and Nigeria,” Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein told the press.
Tillerson, making his first trip to Africa as the senior-most US diplomat, has visited Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya since last Wednesday.
Tillerson who is currently meeting with president Buhari in his office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The meeting started some few minutes after 4 p.m. after Mr. Buhari returned from an official visit to Benue State.
After the meeting, Mr. Tillerson will hold a press conference with his Nigerian counterpart, Geoffrey Onyeama.
The U.S. Secretary of State is expected to depart the country after the press conference.
He had initially been scheduled to stay there overnight, hold further meetings on Tuesday with US embassy staff and then fly back to Washington.
But the African tour has coincided with the shock announcement of a possible summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump over the nuclear standoff in the Korean peninsula.
Tillerson, while in East Africa, cancelled scheduled events on Saturday on the grounds of ill-health.
“The secretary is not feeling well after a long couple days working on major issues back home such as North Korea and has cancelled his events for the day,” Goldstein said in a statement on Saturday.
He later said Tillerson was “feeling better” and would resume his schedule on Sunday.