Great potential

Great potential

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday Washington would be a good partner to Togo as the west African country strengthens its democracy, in the first US high-level official visit there.

Clinton, on a four-nation Africa tour, arrived on Tuesday afternoon and held talks with President Faure Gnassingbe, whose country was recently elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Speaking at the US embassy in Lome later, Clinton said the two had discussed global and regional issues.

"This is an exciting time for Togo," she said, complimenting Togo on presidential elections held in March 2010, which had been hotly contested.

She said legislative polls scheduled for October would be "an important milestone."

Clinton added that "the US will be a good partner to the government of Togo as it build on recent democratic gains, brings in the opposition and dissenting voices, opens up the political participation to women".

Clinton was next headed to Cape Verde, her last stop on a whirlwind tour to west Africa which the US State Department said aimed "to demonstrate US commitment to post-conflict return to peace, good governance and economic development".

"President (Barack) Obama believes, as I believe, that West Africa has great potential," Clinton said before meeting Gnassingbe.


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