President Donald Trump met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, calling him a “friend” in the aftermath of Trump’s controversial comments about African countries.
The leaders met Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Kagame is beginning a one-year term as head of the African Union, a 55-member continental body.
Trump recently drew widespread condemnation for allegedly referring to African nations with a vulgarity in discussing immigration, according to those at the meeting. The president has denied using that language, but others present say he did.
Kagame says he and Trump had “good discussions” on economic and trade issues. He says the African Union is “looking forward to working with the United States.”
Trump began his day at the World Economic Forum talking about the “tremendous crowd.”
He says the gathering has a “crowd like they’ve never had before.” Trump is attending the forum for the first time.
The president spoke to reporters briefly as he arrived at the annual gathering of financial and political leaders.
Trump addresses the summit later Friday. He predicted his message will be “very well received” and that he will note that the U.S. is “doing fantastically well — better than we’ve done in decades.”
The president is also expected to tout recent tax cuts and efforts to slash regulations.
Trump will argue that it’s a good time for businesses to invest in the United States.
Trump is a critic of multinational trade deals. But he’ll stress his commitment to free markets under what he sees as fair terms. He’ll also call for international cooperation to take on issues like the threat posed by the Islamic State group and North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.
Officials say the speech will project a vision of free nations cooperating on shared goals.