JANUARY 25- I offer my deepest compliments as you gather in Addis Ababa for the 30th African Union Summit. I salute the leadership of Chairperson MoussaFaki in working to transform the Union into an increasingly effective institution to advance economic prosperity, strengthen peace and security, and deliver positive outcomes for Africa and the broader international community.
I congratulate His Excellency Paul Kagame on his accession as Chairman of the Assembly, and thank His Excellency Alpha Conde for his service.
The United States profoundly respects the partnerships and values we share with the African Union, member states, and citizens across the continent.
I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships with African states as sovereign nations is firm. Our soldiers are fighting side by side to defeat terrorists and build secure communities.
We are working together to increase free, fair, and reciprocal trade between the United States and African countries, and partnering to improve transportation security and safeguard legal immigration.
The challenges and opportunities this summit will address - advancing trade and development, resolving armed conflicts, and combatting corruption, among many others - are critical to the future of the African continent, and you can rely upon America's partnership and support for the African Union's leadership on these issues.
In the coming year, I look forward to building on relationships established during the African Leaders' Lunch during the United Nations General Assembly, the Africa Ministerial in Washington, and engagements of Ambassador Nikki Haley, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, and my Ambassadors throughout the continent.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Africa for an extended visit in March, and I look forward to welcoming many of you to the White House.
Please accept my greetings, highest regards, and best wishes for a successful Summit.