The United States and Angola have signed the U.S.-Angola Strategic Partnership Dialogue, which formalizes increased bilateral partnerships in energy, security, trade and democracy promotion. The agreement also paves the way for expanded cooperation in agriculture and strengthening democratic institutions.
At the July 8 signing ceremony at the U.S. State Department with Angolan Foreign Minister Assunção Afonso dos Anjos, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the dialogue “represents a new chapter in the relationship between Angola and the United States, and reflects the many ties that already connect our nations.”
Although the ceremony marked the official launch of the dialogue, “work has already begun,” Clinton said.
Following her August 2009 visit to Angola, a bilateral group on energy cooperation met in November 2009 to outline shared U.S. and Angolan objectives in developing Angola’s oil and gas reserves, promoting greater transparency in its oil sector and developing renewable energy sources, the secretary said.
Clinton said that in April, the U.S.-Angola Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council met for the first time to discuss how to expand bilateral trade beyond the oil sector.
The two countries also have started a working group on security cooperation that has discussed Angola’s growing role in African regional security, the country’s work against human trafficking, joint efforts to improve air and maritime safety, and the destruction of excess munitions, she said, and an air services agreement signed in April paves the way “for increased commerce and air travel” between the United States and Angola.
“I expect we will cooperate in other priorities, including agriculture and food security, transportation and strengthening institutional capacity,” she added. “We will work together based on mutual respect and mutual responsibility and we will expand and strengthen our relationship as we did when I visited last August on a new collaboration to fight HIV and AIDS as well as a new public-private partnership to support Angola’s farmers.”
The secretary said she looks forward to working with Angolans to build “a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Angola” in the months and years ahead.
Foreign Minister dos Anjos said that in the short period since Clinton’s visit, the two countries have managed to focus on a wide variety of topics that cover “all areas of activity between our countries.”
This is possible, he said, only when there is a shared commitment, political will on the part of both heads of state, and “two peoples that really want to consolidate their relationship.”
There is a shared interest in solving Angola’s problems, and the United States and Angola “are reading from the absolute same page,” he said.
Dos Anjos echoed President Obama’s July 2009 speech in Ghana, saying that through “proactive and dynamic actions taken together” in mutual respect, the two countries can develop real cooperation and friendship, and Angola will develop its capability to be self-reliant.
“We’re going to take advantage of the experience and the capabilities and the capacities of a country as great as the United States to develop our own knowledge, to develop our own technology, to improve the education and health of our population,” he said. By improving its infrastructure and development, Angola will be in a position to provide assistance to other less-developed countries, he said.