President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry met with four sub-Saharan African leaders on Thursday. The leaders of Cape Verde; Malawi; Sierra Leone ; and Senegal met in the Cabinet Room with the President on various issues from development to trade to peace in the region.
When asked about Nelson Mandela, the leaders nodded while President Obama gave his answer.
Listen: Details of the President’s remarks on Nelson Mandela:
THE PRESIDENT: Well, obviously we’re all deeply concerned with Nelson Mandela’s health. He’s a hero I think to all of us. I’m sure that I speak for the other leaders here, and we will be keeping him in our thoughts and our prayers, and his entire family. He is as strong physically as he’s been in character and in leadership over so many decades, and hopefully he will come out of this latest challenge.
But we all recognize that he has given everything to his people, the people of South Africa, to the people of the **, and he’s ended up being an inspiration to all of us. When you think of a single individual that embodies the kind of leadership qualities that I think we all aspire to, the first name that comes up is Nelson Mandela, and so we wish him all the very best.