Obama Likely Will Not See Mandela in South Africa

The anti-apartheid leader's illness has raised doubts about a landmark meeting between the two men, both of whom made historic strides in race relations.  

The first family departs the White House for Africa. (Alex Wong/Getty Images News)

President Obama is unlikely to see ailing civil rights icon Nelson Mandela when he visits South Africa later this week, the country's minister of international relations said on Tuesday, according to Agence France Presse.

"President Obama would have loved to see president Mandela, but he is indisposed," said Maite Nkoane Mashebane.

Mandela is in a critical condition in a Pretoria hospital after 18 days of intensive treatment.

Obama is due to arrive in South Africa on Friday, the second leg of a long-awaited tour of the continent for the United States' first black president.

Mandela's illness has raised doubts about a landmark meeting between the two men, who both made historic strides in race relations on either side of the Atlantic.

Nkoane Mashebane said giving Mandela room to recover was "in line with our tradition here."

Read more at the Huffington Post.

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