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Obama Receives Huge Welcome in Tanzania


President Barack Obama leaves Tanzania Tuesday for Washington, ending his week-long Africa trip focused on expanding U.S. trade and investment with Africa, and on democratization. Thousands of people lined Dar es Salaam's streets to welcome Obama and his family.

The Obamas walked off Air Force One into a bright, steamy day in Dar es Salaam, where they were welcomed by Tanzania's President Jakaya Kikwete, his wife and dignitaries.

Cheers went up in the crowd that included women dressed in traditional “khanga” skirts holding pictures of Obama.

Thousands lined the airport road to cheer the president's motorcade.

At the presidential state house, the Obamas and Kikwetes walked down a red carpet, shaking hands with wellwishers.

Later, at a news conference, President Kikwete thanked Obama for what he said was “invaluable” support for development, from education to food security and AIDS prevention.

“The lives of the people of Tanzania are different today, thanks in many ways to the support we have been getting from the United States of America," said President Kikwete.

President Obama lauded Tanzanians.

“Tanzanians continue to work to strengthen their democracy. Parliament, opposition groups, civil society groups and journalists are all doing their part to advance the good governance and transparency on which democracy and transparency depend," said President Obama.

The two leaders also discussed the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which borders Tanzania.

Obama urged all parties to the recently signed U.N. Framework for Peace to fulfill their commitments, saying the peace effort has to be more than just a piece of paper. Eleven countries, including the DRC, signed the agreement.

“The countries surrounding the Congo, they have got to make commitments to stop funding armed groups that are encroaching on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Congo," said Obama. "They have signed on to a piece of paper, now the question is, do they follow through?”

President Obama and his family leave Tuesday for Washington.

But first, he and former U.S. president George W. Bush will lay a wreath at the site of the al-Qaida bombing of the U.S. embassy in 1998.
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