23, September 2016
The President of the Republic His Excellency Paul BIYA granted audience to Madam Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States Under-Secretary of State for African Affairs, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on Thursday 22 September 2016. At the end of their discussions, the American Under-Secretary of State told the press that the audience with the Cameroonian Head of State was focused on the fight against the terrorist group Boko Haram, the handling of refugees and economic cooperation between the United States and Cameroon.
Madam Linda Thomas-Greenfield lauded the total commitment of Cameroon in the fight against Boko Haram which has yielded serious blows to this terrorist group. She reiterated the support of the United States of America to all the countries fighting terrorism. The American Under-Secretary of State appreciated the harbouring of hundreds of thousands of refugees by Cameroon and all the measures the Government has taken to give them good living conditions. Cameroon currently hosts over 350 000 refugees of different nationalities, but mainly Nigerians and people from the Central African Republic.
Madam Linda Thomas-Greenfield affirmed that Cameroon and the USA have very solid bilateral economic relations. She also indicated that the second US-Africa Business Forum which held on the 21 September 2016 in New York, with the participation of Cameroon, was an excellent occasion to examine the ways and means to increase commercial links between Cameroon and the United States.
The Diplomat and the Head of State also discussed the participation of Cameroon at the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly. It should be recalled that Madam Linda Thomas-Greenfield was granted audience by the President of the Republic at the Unity Palace in Yaounde on 6 September 2014. President Paul BIYA had an audience with the Secretary-General of the United Nations BAN KI-MOON yesterday evening. The face-to-face meeting held on the side-lines of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
The warm and friendly audience took place at Mr BAN KI-MOON’s office in New York. Both personalities have recorded a cordial relationship. Mr BAN KI-MOON is a great friend to Cameroon. He established this friendship during his official visit to Cameroon on 9 to 10 June 2010. The UN Secretary General was accompanied by his wife, Mrs BAN SOON-TAEK. It is during this visit that Mr BAN KI-MOON told the press that President Paul Biya is a long-time friend and “a respected leader in the world.” In return, the Cameroonian Head of State affirmed that the relationship between Cameroon and the United Nations is “a long history of trust and friendship.” President Paul Biya and Mr. BAN KI-MOON equally met on 25 September 2010 during the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly.
Both personalities probably made an overview of relations between Cameroon and the United Nations, and activities of the ongoing 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York. Mr BAN KI-MOON’s second and final term as head of the UN Secretariat ends in January 2017. Elected on 13 October 2006, he took office on 1 January 2007 and was re-elected on 21 June 2011. His mandates were marked by numerous initiatives and reforms to strengthen the organisation. These include: the promotion of sustainable development, women’s empowerment, assistance to countries in crisis or instability, a new impetus to disarmament, arms control, and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.