- Botswana's recently re-elected President Seretse Khama has managed to secure a visit at the White House on his trip to Washington later this week. President Barack Obama signals he will go easy on his Batswana counterpart.
President Khama is to travel to the United States tomorrow, according to a statement by his spokesman Jeffress Frederic Ramsay. The original purpose of the Batswana leader's US trip was to attend the 2009 Board of Directors meeting of the environmentalist group Conservation International.
Mr Khama having expressed a desire to meet with US President Obama, the White House on Friday confirmed that the US leader would find time to meet his Batswana counterpart on Thursday 5 November. The official meeting was scheduled to the afternoon in the White House.
According to White House Office of the Press Secretary, "the two leaders will meet to discuss a wide range of regional and bilateral issues, including how the United States can support sound governance, economic development, and natural resource conservation throughout the continent."
"President Obama looks forward to working closely with President Khama to tackle shared challenges, including how to continue to address the issue of HIV/AIDS and its impact on the people of sub-Saharan Africa," the White House added, calling Botswana "a strong democratic partner in sub-Saharan Africa."
President Khama, leading one of Africa's most stable democracies, thus expects President Obama to go easy on him. The US leader is seen to be outspoken and demanding on African leaders, demanding democracy, human rights and good governance. A positive mark in Botswana's book, by US measures, has been its tough stance on Zimbabwe.
The Batswana leader however is to spend most time during his US visit on environmental issues. Mr Khama has been a board member of Conservation International for over a decade. The NGO aims at empowering societies to "responsibly and sustainably care for nature for the well-being of humanity," according to the Batswana presidency.
President Khama is expected to return to Botswana on 8 November, the day after his meeting with President Obama.
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