PRETORIA – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is meeting with high-level South African officials in Pretoria Tuesday. Topics on the agenda include HIV/AIDS, economic cooperation and global crises, including the deteriorating situation in Syria.
Opening the second annual U.S. - South Africa Strategic Dialogue in Pretoria Tuesday, Clinton highlighted South Africa's growing influence on the world stage and the need to deepen ties between the two countries.
"We have tough issues that we have to tackle together from nuclear non-proliferation to climate change to security crises, like the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo to Syria," Clinton said. "We do not always see eye-to-eye on these issues. I don't know two people who always do, and certainly not two nations and sometimes we will disagree as friends do, but what's important is that this dialogue provides us a mechanism to keep working through all of the issues together."
Photo Gallery: Hillary Clinton's Africa Tour
A senior State Department official says Clinton is pushing for South Africa's support for the United Nations Security Council to deal with the deepening crisis in Syria.
South Africa abstained from voting on a third effort by the Security Council to pass a resolution that would have held President Assad responsible for his failure to abide by U.N. Envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan and threatened him with sanctions. South Africa's abstention effectively backed Russia’s and China's vetoes.
South Africa said the resolution was biased in favor of the rebels. Pretoria has close ties to Russia and China and holds a two-year rotating seat on council until December.
South Africa marks the halfway point in Clinton's 10-day, 9-country sweep of Africa. She heads to Turkey next week for talks on Syria.
Regional security and increased U.S. investment and trade with Africa have been key themes of her tour.
Map of Clinton's Travels Through Africa
View Clinton's Africa trip in a larger map