WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden promised to visit Africa this year, but 2023 is drawing to a close with no trip in sight yet. Nor has Biden given any public indication he plans to attend the U.N. climate change conference that starts next week in Dubai.
U.S. presidents tend to reveal their priorities through their calendars. Biden has pledged a closer relationship with African countries. He similarly has stressed the importance of global leadership on climate change.
Presidential trips can come together very quickly if necessary. Biden has pulled off last-minute trips to Israel and Vietnam as well as a secretive journey to Ukraine. But the travel deadline is getting tight and there have been no obvious signs of preparation.
Staring down what could be a tough 2024 reelection campaign, Biden is juggling a mix of other domestic and foreign concerns. Africa seems to have been pushed to the back burner despite effusive claims that Biden made last December at a Washington summit with 49 leaders that it would be a strategic focus as the U.S. made political and financial commitments.
“I’m eager to visit your continent,” Biden said at the summit almost a year ago. “I’m looking forward to seeing many of