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U.S. warns African nations that Chinese loans could threaten sovereignty

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While visiting the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said

Tillerson's trip to Ethiopia is scheduled to briefly overlap with a visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who said he had requested a meeting.

Tillerson's Africa visit includes Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

The chairman of the African Union Commission confirmed today alongside Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that he received a letter from President Trump about two weeks after the president's reported remark calling Haiti and African nations "shithole countries".

During his trip, he will also meet with U.S. Embassy personnel and participate in events related to U.S. government-supported activities.

On trade, Tillerson said US supported AU's economic regional integration efforts to lower intra-trade barriers on the continent and boost more intra-regional trade.

Tillerson said fighting corruption was another area of common cause between Africa and USA adding, we're very pleased to see that the African Union has named 2018 as the year for winning the fight against corruption.

As the largest global donor on global health, the USA has supported many programs that help people get healthcare in some of Africa's poorest countries.

Asked about Tillerson's criticism of China's approach on the continent, Kenya's foreign affairs minister Monica Juma said: "This country is engaging with partners from across the world driven by our own interests and for our own value".

Tillerson, the top USA diplomat, called Kenya a "leading democracy in Africa" and praised President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga for meeting on Friday and pledging to bring their people together after last year's contentious and bloody elections.

"I know Kenya takes these matters seriously".

For his part, Uhuru said the solid friendship and cooperation encourages Kenya to strengthen its resolve to work together with the US.

He however claimed that the United States is not trying to stop African countries from receiving money from China.

"I believe reasonably that this partnership will bring result for both sides", Chairperson Faki said.

The AU expressing its disappointment said the remark by the United States president dishonours the celebrtaed American creed. "It is important that African countries carefully consider the terms of those agreements and not forfeit their sovereignty".

He said his country will see, "How we can put in place more sustainable funding models so they have greater certainty around how to plan the future fight against terrorism in the Sahel region'".

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