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Melania Trump confirms her first big solo trip as first lady, to Africa

Posted: 5:06 PM, Aug 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-20 22:06:32Z

Melania Trump announced Monday afternoon that she will go to Africa in October for her first major solo trip since becoming first lady.

"This will be my first time traveling to Africa and I am excited to educate myself on the issues facing children throughout the continent, while also learning about its rich culture and history," the first lady said in a statement. "We are a global society and I believe it is through open dialogue and the exchanging of ideas that we have a real opportunity to learn from one another."

The Associated Press was first to report her travel plans.

In January, CNN reported that President Donald Trump, at a closed-door meeting at the White House, bemoaned the influx of immigrants from what he deemed "s---hole countries" in Africa, according to sources.

The first lady's trip to Africa -- where she plans to visit several countries, to be announced in coming weeks -- will take place more than a year after her first solo international trip, which was to Toronto. Last September she attended the Invictus Games there, an athletic event hosted by Britain's Prince Harry.

Though she has visited many international destinations while accompanying President Donald Trump -- including Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy, France, Poland, Turkey, China, South Korea, Japan, England and Belgium -- she had yet to branch out on her own for a significant journey.