Birmingham mayor travels to White House this week for summit

Birmingham Mayor William Bell (

Birmingham Mayor William Bell traveled to Washington D.C. Tuesday for the U.S.- Africa Leaders Summit, ABC 33/40 has learned.A city spokesperson says Bell was invited by the Obama Administration to the event, which travel expenses were covered by the city. The Mayor's Office is working to release the official cost of the trip, but the spokesperson contends Bell only stayed during the day and did not stay overnight.The Summit is a {}three-day forum, featuring dozens of African leaders. It includes events on the continent's growth as well as challenges such as poverty and hunger.ABC 33/40 was told Bell attended the Summit's opening luncheon.{}The mayor and two staffers will travel to Switzerland next week for the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination's conference. The city approved more than $10,000 Tuesday to cover the staffer's expenses. The city spokesperson, who is going on that trip, says the U.S. State Department will reimburse Bell's expenses and he was invited by the group to participate.Stay with ABC 33/40 more on this developing story.