After what has been described as an Trump’s “Africa Day”, the Presidency has released a statement on the outcome of the telephonic conversation between the president of the United States Donald Trump and president Jacob Zuma.
President Zuma’s office said on Twitter shortly after the much-hyped presidential engagement that the two presidents reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the already strong bilateral relations between the two countries.
The full statement from the presidency reads:
President Jacob Zuma and President Donald Trump of the United States of America held a telephone conversation this afternoon, 13 February 2017 at the request of President Trump.
President Zuma congratulated President Trump on his election as the 45th president of the United States of America.
The two presidents reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the already strong bilateral relations between the two countries. There are six hundred US companies in South Africa and strong trade relations between the two countries.
The two Presidents also discussed the need to work together on multilateral issues as well especially the quest for peace and stability on the African continent.”
President Donald Trump has called several world leaders since his inauguration last month, including Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Reports had it that Trump hung up the phone o Turnbull during their conversation.
BuzzSouthAfrica understands that in addition to President Zuma, Trump also spoke to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who has not made any public appearances since he traveled to London for medical treatment on January 19.
Since he left for a medical treatment overseas, Nigerians have been dealing with controversies surrounding his health, especially after his return was postponed on February 5.
Nigerian vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, has since been filling in Buhari’s absence — a situation that brings back anxious memories of the political tensions of 2010 among Nigerians.
In 2010, Nigerian former president Umaru Yar’Adua died on May 5 at the age of 58, after a closely hidden chronic illness that brought about a political crisis in the West African country.
Buhari’s media aide, Femi Adesina, confirmed the presidential conversation in a series of tweets on the official twitter handle of the Nigerian presidency @NGRPresidency.
A statement by the Nigerian presidency disclosed that Trump and Buhari discussed issues of terrorism and that Trump assured President Buhari that the United States is ready to make a new deal to help Nigeria “in terms of military weapons”.
President Buhari reportedly congratulated Mr. Trump on his election as the President of the United States and Trump commended Buhari for playing major roles in the rescue of 24 of the Chibok girls, who were abducted by the Boko Haram militant group.
Adesina also tweeted that Mr. Trump invited the Nigerian President to Washington at a mutually convenient date. The conversation held at 3:45 PM Nigerian time.
Since Trump assumed office, he has said little or nothing about Africa or African issues. So February 13th is really historic because Trump called two African heads on the same day, as requested by the White House – now we know why some people described the day as “African Day”.