The US Presidential couple, Joe and Jill Biden, has met with Cameroon’s President Paul Biya and First Lady Chantal Biya on the sidelines of the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC.
The two statesmen met on Thursday, December 15, at a gala White Hose dinner, a rare moment for the Cameroonian President who has not met with an American leader for six years now.
The subject of their discussion on Thursday was not communicated, but it is likely that both leaders discussed the ongoing crisis in Cameroon’s minority English-speaking Regions.
The United States has been quite concerned about the crisis, which even gave former US President Donald Trump more reasons to strain diplomatic ties with Cameroon.
President Biya last met with a US Head of State was on September 20, 2016, when he posed with President Barack Obama and wife at a reception during the 71st UN General Assembly in New York.
Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, restricted American relations with Africa and Cameroon particularly, and even suspended the country from the AGOA trade agreement because of human rights abuses in the embattled Anglophone Regions.
During Trump’s four-year mandate (2017-2021), Biya and many other African leaders never had a face-to-face meeting with the US President.
Biden on the other hand, has sought to strengthen ties with Africa, Cameroon included, and this is especially evident in the fact that President Biya was invited to the US-Africa Summit. This could hardly happen during the Trump years.
Paul and Chantal Biya arrived in Washington, DC, on December 10 for the US-Africa Summit. He attended the three-day meeting alongside 48 other African Presidents.
At the summit, President Joe Biden has promised the US “is all in on Africa” and that they will maintain close ties with the continent. He is also promised to visit sub-Saharan Africa and to back a permanent seat for the African Union in the G20, a group of top 20 economies in the world.