Mbeki's First State Visit to the U.S.

NPR's Ted Clark reports on South African president Thabo Mbeki's first state visit to the U.S. Mbeki will meet with President Clinton today at the White House, then travel to San Francisco, Austin, and Atlanta later this week. Mbeki wants to strengthen ties to the U.S. and to facilitate stronger trade relations between the two countries. But he may spend time defending his controversial views on AIDS. Mbeki has publicly questioned the link between HIV and AIDS, and has infuriated the scientific community by appointing AIDS dissidents to a power panel formed to help South Africa combat the disease. He's also denied the anti-AIDS drug AZT to pregnant mothers and rape victims, saying it is too toxic and too expensive.



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