Khama’s AU meetings snub criticised

Tuesday February 18 2014

Botswana’s president Ian Khama. PHOTO/FILE

Botswana’s president Ian Khama. PHOTO/FILE 

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Opposition Botswana Congress Party (BCP) president Mr Dumelang Saleshando has called on those close to President Ian Khama to invest time in persuading him that his absence from meetings like the United Nations General Assembly and African Union (AU) summits does not advance the interests of the country.

This comes after Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mr Mokgwetsi Masisi told Parliament that ever since Mr Khama ascended to the top office in 2008, he has never attended a single meeting of the United Nations General Assembly or the African Union Heads of State summits.

Foreign affairs minister, Mr Phandu Skelemani led Botswana’s delegation to the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of heads of state and government of the African Union in Addis Ababa.

Mr Khama, who is in his sixth year in power, attended six Conservation International meetings in the USA.

“Key issues of international concern determining the future of the global economy are decided by the UN and the AU.

‘‘The world is becoming a global village; developments in one part of the world are dependent on decisions taken elsewhere’’ Mr Saleshando said.

World leaders interact at international meetings to influence each other so that their national interests are not compromised,” argued Saleshando.

He believes at such meetings, heads of state hardly give time to ministers from other countries, but only interact with their counterparts.