Blinken spent an hour-and-a-half alone with Kenyatta in a one-on-one session that had been scheduled for only 10 minutes, the State Department said, although the exact topics of the discussion and any potential developments were not immediately clear.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken appealed Wednesday for the preservation of democracy in politically and ethnically fractured societies as he opened his first official visit to Africa in Kenya amid worsening crises in neighboring Ethiopia and Sudan, the AP’s Matt Lee reports.

In a lengthy, private meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and other top officials, Blinken hailed Kenya’s role in seeking to ease the conflict in Ethiopia and as an example of a vibrant, inclusive democracy despite challenges it has faced in its own recent elections.

Kenyatta visited Addis Ababa over the weekend in a bid to bolster an African Union-led mediation initiative to end the violence in Ethiopia that has engulfed the northern Tigray region and spread, prompting widespread fears of a spillover in the conflict.

Blinken spent an hour-and-a-half alone with Kenyatta in a one-on-one session that had been scheduled for only 10 minutes, the State Department said, although the exact topics of the discussion and any potential developments were not immediately clear.

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