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International relations

Great power competition: US boosts Africa diplomacy on land and sea

Blinken phones small island of Cape Verde with eye on China

A U.S. Coast Guard cadet observes the skyline as the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Carson City departs Mindelo, Cabo Verde in August 2019. The archipelago serves as an important sea and air refueling site in the Atlantic Ocean. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy)

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has made four calls to Africa since assuming office last month. First to his South African counterpart, followed by a conversation with the chair of the African Union. His third call was to Ethiopia.

On Tuesday, he spoke with Rui Figueiredo, the foreign affairs and defense minister of Cape Verde. The Republic of Cape Verde, or Cabo Verde, is a tiny island nation off the west coast of Africa with a population of around 550,000.

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