Daily Archives: May 5, 2014

Africa: U.S. Condemns New Military Offensives in South Sudan

U.S. Condemns New Military Offensives in South Sudan

Press Statement

John Kerry
Secretary of State

Washington, DC
May 5, 2014


Three years ago, I was in Juba to witness the birth of the world’s newest nation, and last week as I returned to South Sudan I saw how fragile the future can be when old grudges degenerate into violence. The United States condemns in the strongest terms recent offensives by South Sudanese government forces against opposition-held positions in Nassir, Bentiu, and elsewhere in Unity and Jonglei states.

These attacks blatantly violate the January 23 Cessation of Hostilities agreement and contradict commitments President Kiir has made in recent days. We call on all parties to re-dedicate themselves to the agreement, not just in words, but in actions, and to halt all military offensives. The government and opposition forces also must cooperate fully with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s Monitoring and Verification Mechanism, and we look forward to the Mechanism’s report on these incidents.

The government and opposition must resolve their differences at the negotiating table, rather than through military action. The United States reiterates our continued support for the IGAD-led talks, and our disappointment with the government delegation’s unwillingness to engage constructively in recent rounds of talks. We call on President Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar to follow through on their commitments to meet directly in the coming days to end the conflict and initiate discussions on an inclusive political transition.

We again call on both sides of the conflict to ensure humanitarian access for UN agencies and others who are trying to provide life-saving assistance to all in need, and to respect and support the UN Mission in South Sudan as it carries out its mandate to protect civilians.


Africa: Remarks at Pharmacy Supported by Micro-Finance

Remarks at Pharmacy Supported by Micro-Finance

Remarks

John Kerry
Secretary of State

SINOCO Medical Supply Store
Kinshasa, Congo (Kinshasa)
May 3, 2014


SECRETARY KERRY: Patricia Nzolantima is a YALI graduate, this beautiful woman to my left here, which is the Young African Leaders Initiative that President Obama started. And she graduated from it in 2011?

MS. NZOLANTIMA: Yes. (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY KERRY: 2012.

MS. NZOLANTIMA: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY KERRY: 2012, yeah. And Irene Mpoy is now in YALI, and she will be coming to Washington, right? No?

MS. MPOY: No.

SECRETARY KERRY: You’re not coming? Oh, I thought she was coming. (Inaudible.) There are 12 young leaders in the entire Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, who have been selected to take part in the Young African Leaders program. And they are an amazing group. When the Embassy here promoted the concept of the Young African Leaders program, there were a thousand applications very, very quickly to 12 positions. And these 12 leaders will be coming – a number of them be – they will be coming to Washington at the time of the African Leaders Summit, a two-day summit with President Obama. And I will be meeting, and other Administration people will be meeting with young African leaders in order to do as much as we can to promote this program, and mostly to promote entrepreneurship. I want to tell you about that.

Patricia, who is an entrepreneur – and you saw her magazine over here, which she publishes six times a year, once every two months, 10,000 issues. She does them free distribution, but the promotion – the 10,000 distribution guarantees the advertisement. And so she is a true entrepreneur. And she also provides to pharmacies, to a group of pharmacies – I think you have about 75, how many?

MS. NZOLANTIMA: Seventy-five.

SECRETARY KERRY: Seventy-five, yes. Seventy-five pharmacies. And what she does is buys her supplies, then she provides them to people like Irene. This is Irene’s store, her showroom. And here she sells both the major products that you see to clinics, hospitals, et cetera. But she also provides drugs, a pharmacy.

And you see a picture right here of one these pharmacy setups. It’s basically a sort of a predetermined concept where X number of drugs of different kinds that they know are going to be used are placed there. But what happens is Patricia is the one who provides the money to Irene to be able to pay for the drugs, and she buys them back from Patricia’s company at a discount. And her efforts are non-profit. She is trying to simply grow the ability of these women to be able to own their own pharmacy and own their own establishment. It’s a wonderful example of entrepreneurial activity. It’s the best of some independent initiative taking an enterprise and going out and making something happen.

We want this to happen all over the Democratic Republic of Congo, all over Africa. We want to grow the ability of young people, young people who are the future, to be able to create jobs, to have their own businesses, to have an idea and perhaps go out and fail, but at least be able to try and make a difference. That’s what makes entrepreneurial activity work for an entire country. And we’re going to try and support that.

So I’m very, very happy to be here and to celebrate this woman’s initiative and this woman’s willingness to take up her initiative and use her initiative to make it into something that serves the people. It’s a wonderful example of entrepreneurial activity.

We look forward to welcoming those who will come to Washington from the YALI program, and I know that President Obama is very excited about this initiative. I met with some YALI students this morning in Addis Ababa. They were all excited and ready to fire up and engage in their own entrepreneurial activity.

So I’m privileged to come here. I want to thank you. (In French.) And I’m really happy to be here, too. Thank you. Take care. Thank you all. (Applause.)


Africa: Press Availability on the D.R.C. and the Great Lakes Region

Press Availability on the D.R.C. and the Great Lakes Region

Press Availability

John Kerry
Secretary of State

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
May 4, 2014


SECRETARY KERRY: Well, good morning, everybody. I’ve just come from a productive, good meeting with President Kabila and Foreign Minister Tshibanda. We spoke candidly about the enormous opportunities and the challenges that are faced by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and we spoke very candidly also about the ways in which we can make progress going forward. I congratulated the president on the accomplishments that he and his government have achieved, together with the work of MONUSCO, but we also talked about the steps that now need to be taken to provide further stability; increased, broader democracy; greater justice; and a greater amount of economic development for the Congolese people.

The president expressed his vision and his commitment to each of these efforts, and I think it’s fair to say that he leaned forward on his commitment to make sure that the accords – the Kampala accords as well as the peace and security agreement are well implemented over the course of the days ahead.

The suffering in the Great Lakes region of Africa and the crisis in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo really continues to trouble all of us. The eastern D.R.C. has been the scene of some of the most horrific crimes of violence against women and girls that are imaginable. And it’s a powerful reminder of the obligations that we all face, that we all share with respect to not only ending the killing and the fear, but in order to work for the birth of a new generation of stability and of hope.

Achieving a lasting peace in the D.R.C. is a priority of President Obama and a priority of mine. And that is why we appointed a close colleague of mine from the Senate for 18 years, Senator Russ Feingold, who is here with us today, as the United States Special Envoy for the African Great Lakes region and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Russ brings enormous intellect, passion, commitment to this issue. And already, he has been able to have an impact on the ground. He has been working with the UN Representative Mary Robinson, with the leaders in the region, and we are very pleased that the Nairobi Declarations were achieved, as well as a reduction in violence.

But he would be the first to say that we have further steps to take in order to complete this task, and we all understand what they are. The efforts to disarm, to demobilize, to reintegrate – these are the priorities of the moment. I want to commend the Congolese military and MONUSCO for defeating the M23 and for taking the fight to the Allied Democratic Forces – the ADF, as we know them – and many other Congolese armed groups. The United States welcomes the Kabila government’s commitment to focus on the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, and we discussed with President Kabila the steps that need to be taken with respect to that.

But I need to be clear: Military force alone will not deliver stability to the D.R.C. Lasting peace will not grow out of the barrel of a gun. It will come from restoring state authority and state services, and providing the capacity building that is necessary in those areas that have been recaptured from armed groups. It will also come from demobilizing the combatants and returning them to civilian life. I welcome the government’s initial efforts on this front, and we look forward to working with them as we continue programs that will advance that initiative.

The United States also strongly supports the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework peace process. Now I can’t emphasize enough how important that process is in identifying and resolving the root causes of the conflict in the D.R.C. as well as in the entire Great Lakes region. It’s imperative that all of the signatories fully implement their commitments and support the ongoing broader process of bringing peace to the region. Peace cannot be delayed or deferred or denied, and I think the people of Congo – of the Democratic Republic of Congo made that clear.

It is not enough just to focus on the military side of this equation, and it’s not enough to focus only on the political stability or economic development side of it. We need to work on all of these at the same time, and we need to keep the pressure on the FDLR and the other armed groups. We need to support the parties as they try to implement the framework agreement. So we must provide partnership and leadership as we urge all of the parties to come together to create a political solution.

And that means free, fair, timely, and transparent elections. I encouraged President Kabila to work with his government and the parliament in order to complete the election calendar and the budget. And they need to do so in accordance with the constitution. The United States is committed to supporting the Congolese people, the government, and other donors as they work towards decisions that are credible, timely, and consistent with the current constitution. And obviously, it is very clear that the dates and the process need to be set and fully defined, and the sooner, the better.

As a sign of our commitment, I am pleased to announce that $30 million will be immediately made available from the United States in additional funding in order to support transparent and credible elections as well as recovery and reconstruction programs in the eastern D.R.C. This contribution comes on top of already substantial U.S. assistance for economic development for the Congolese people. USAID plans to invest $1.2 billion over the next five years in the D.R.C., focusing on improving political and economic governance and on promoting social development. Our programs will strengthen Congolese institutions and improve their ability to respond to the peoples’ needs, and that includes the delivery of critical healthcare and education services.

I also spoke with President Kabila about another issue which has been a concern of late, and that is the question of adoption for families in the United States and friends of mine in the Senate who know that there is important, required attention to this question of international adoption. Here in the D.R.C. since 2009, the number of American families able to provide a house to children who have lost their parents has grown each year. And today, I urged President Kabila to move as rapidly as possible in the review of the situation that raised some concerns, and also to lift the new freeze on international adoption from the D.R.C. We want to enable Congolese children, who seek to, to be able to be matched with parents abroad who are eager to provide them with a secure and happy future. And as someone – I have seen this firsthand. My sister has adopted a young child from China. I know how positive and important this can be for everybody concerned, and I think it’s an issue that’s important to all of us as a matter of basic human decency.

And we have to admit, all of us, we can have no illusions about the challenges that lie ahead. But even as we look down a complicated road, we cannot lose sight of the fact that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a place of enormous potential. Its people provide enormous potential. And the people of Congo want a better future. The fact is that together, we have an ability to be able to work to support the people of the Congo, to build a more secure and prosperous future, which is a responsibility that belongs to all of us.

I can guarantee you that the United States, through the immediate efforts of our ambassador on the ground, our embassy, and particularly our special envoy, we will continue to work in every way that we know how to be a good partner in this effort, and we look forward to working with the people of Congo in that in furtherance of that objective.

So I’d be delighted to answer a couple of questions if there are a few.

MS. PSAKI: Great. The first question will be from Mimie Engumb from Radio Oakpi.

QUESTION: (In French.)

SECRETARY KERRY: (In French.)

QUESTION: (In French.)

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, I think I just mentioned it, to be honest with you. There will be elections in many countries in Africa over the course of the next year or so. I think there are 15 presidential elections and some 37 elections in countries in Africa. And so every election is really critical and important, and it is important for the people to be able to know what the process is, to have confidence in that process.

And the United States position is very clear: We believe that the elections need to be free, fair, open, transparent, accountable; and the sooner the process is announced, the sooner that the date is set, the sooner people have an ability to be able to participate; and we believe that it ought to be done in keeping with the constitutional process of the country.

MS. PSAKI: The next question will be from Nicolas Revise from AFP.

QUESTION: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. You just announced your financial support for D.R.C. for its demobilization plan, but is there some conditions to this support? What are specifically these conditions? Did you ask specifically to President Kabila to give this green light to go after the FDLR still active in eastern Congo? And politically, is the U.S. support tied to the respect of the constitution? So did you ask specifically to President Kabila not to change the constitution and not to run for a third term? Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, let me discuss all of that. But first of all, with respect to the conditions, obviously the demobilization is taking place in accordance with the agreement. And that agreement requires people to go back to their homes, where possible, where they sign, appropriately, an amnesty for those who qualify. And I think for those who don’t, it is clear that there remains – that is, people who may have been engaged in crimes against humanity, war crimes – those people remain liable for that. But others who sign the agreement and sign the amnesty are committed to and encouraged, obviously must return to their homes. That’s an important part of this demobilization effort.

With respect to the election process, the constitution, and the FDLR, we want to see the process of providing stability and completing the task of disarming the armed groups in the east completed. So that includes not just the completion of the efforts with the ADF, but also obviously, indeed making sure that the FDLR is held accountable and that the initiative with respect to them will commence.

The president – we did discuss it. The president made it clear that he intends to do that, and I think that there is a schedule. I don’t want to discuss it because I think it would be inappropriate to do so. But the answer is the president gave his word that that is not just on the agenda, but that he has a specific process in mind and timing.

And with respect to the constitutional process, we talked about the election. I believe the president’s legacy is a legacy that is very important for the country, and that he has an opportunity, which he understands, to be able to put the country on a continued path of democracy. And I believe it is clear to him that the United States of America feels very strongly, as do other people, that the constitutional process needs to be respected and adhered to. That’s how you strengthen a country.

I have no doubt that President Kabila’s legacy will be defined by the progress he has made in the – particularly the last year in addressing the security issues of the east, the economic issues of the country. And he’s a young man with an enormous amount of time to be able to continue to contribute to his country. And I’m quite confident that he will weigh all of those issues as he makes a decision about the future.

But clearly, the United States of America believes that a country is strengthened, that people have respect for their nation and their government, when a constitutional process is properly implemented and upheld by that government. And we obviously believe – we’re a country with term limits. We live by them. We had several hundred years of transformation under that process, and we encourage other countries to adhere to their constitution.

MS. PSAKI: Thank you, everyone.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you.


Africa: Press Availability in Luanda, Angola

Press Availability in Luanda, Angola

Press Availability

John Kerry
Secretary of State

Luanda, Angola
May 5, 2014


SECRETARY KERRY: Good morning, everybody. President Dos Santos and I had a very constructive conversation today. We discussed a broad array of the issues concerning not just the bilateral relationship, but also concerning regional and broader security issues and challenges of the region.

I want to emphasize that Angola is a very important partner in the region, and the relations between Angola and the United States are, in fact, moving on an upward trajectory and getting stronger with each meeting that we have. And I was very encouraged today by the discussions we had about enlarging our cooperation, engaging in a security dialogue, and in the near term building on the visit of the African leaders to Washington for the summit with President Obama and engaging in further meetings between ourselves on a bilateral basis during that time.

Over the past few days, I have – oh, excuse me. We have – I’m sorry. We have translation.

Over the past days I’ve spoken often about African leadership and this moment of promise and of decision for Africans. Angola is committed to making the most of this moment increasingly through an important role as a leader in the region and particularly on security issues. Angola is playing a central role – integral role, really – in bringing African nations together and in leading them towards an enduring peace, we hope, in the Great Lakes region. I thank President Dos Santos for his personal work and commitment to that effort, for his leadership, and particularly for the International Conference of the Great Lakes, which Angola is chairing, and which he has committed to continue to try to bring to completion.

Our special envoy to the Great Lakes, Senator Russ Feingold has been to the region nine times prior to coming this time in order to help support that effort. I worked very closely with Russ during our days in the Senate, and then, as now, he is a tireless worker, deeply committed to Africa, knowledgeable about Africa, and ready to try to work with the Angolan Government and help – in an effort to achieve the peace in the Great Lakes region. And I know that President Obama very much appreciates the fact that today President Dos Santos and Foreign Minister Chikoti both committed to continue to work with Senator Feingold and with our team in order to advance the peace process.

I also commended Angola for their commitments in the Central African Republic where the United States has provided $100 million in security assistance to the French and the AU-led forces, and 67 million in humanitarian assistance. And today, President Dos Santos informed us that he intends to remain strongly committed to the Central African Republic initiative and that he will be having meetings shortly in furtherance of that effort.

President Dos Santos and I also discussed the importance of bilateral trade and diversifying the Angolan economy. Angola’s economy has experienced, and continues to enjoy, a remarkable amount of economic growth. We talked today about specific ways in which the United States and Angola can grow the relationship and, in particular, we talked about increased possibilities of cooperation in agriculture, in technology, in energy diversity, and also in infrastructure.

I want to say that we are very pleased to see that growth in the economy now means growth of opportunity for Angolans and more and more – more and more Angolans are participating in the progress that is taking place here and in the vital industries. Yesterday at the port here in Luanda, I had the opportunity to visit General Electric’s operations and also meet with energy company executives who informed me about the numbers of Angolans that they are hiring and training and providing new opportunities to, and we think that is a critical component of any relationship. The people of Angola must receive benefit. We also hope that more Angolans will be able to bring their talents to the use of their country through greater engagement with their government and in a more open and engaged civil society.

I have learned that Angola will be conducting its first-ever national census since gaining independence. The collection of complete information and statistics about a population is a very important step in development and in providing services to citizens. So we wish the Angolan people well in carrying out this important task, and we also look forward to hosting African leaders in August in Washington at President Obama’s U.S. leadership summit. This meeting in Washington will provide one more opportunity for Angola and for its leaders to be able to share with us their successes, as well as to explore the ways in which we can build on our relationship.

I was genuinely impressed by the common agenda that we talked about today and felt as if there is an opportunity for both of us to be able to grow this relationship, and we look forward to continuing our work. We set some specific homework for each of us to do, and we’re going to follow up on it. So I look forward to growing this partnership in a very constructive, productive way.

Thank you. I’m happy to take a couple questions.

MS. PSAKI: The first question is from Phil Stewart of Reuters.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. South Sudan’s rebel leader Machar has said in an interview that he does not see the point of face-to-face talks at this point and that he didn’t think the transitional government could happen before elections. Have you tried to contact him again since your attempt Friday? Are we safe to assume these talks are not going to happen this week? And if he doesn’t go for face-to-face talks, will the U.S. now finally impose sanctions on him?

Also, on Angola, did you manage to formalize any commitment from Angola to airlift troops to Central African Republic, if needed, or secure any additional security commitments from President Dos Santos?

SECRETARY KERRY: I didn’t hear you. I’m sorry, but that part of the question got swallowed up.

QUESTION: On Angola? Okay, did you manage to secure any additional security commitments from President Dos Santos? You spoke – talked about deepening your security dialogue, and did you manage to secure commitment from them to potentially airlift troops to Central African Republic, if needed, or formalize any of their previous —

SECRETARY KERRY: Yeah. Well, let me – with respect to your question – with respect to Riek Machar, I saw the interview and he left the door open. He expressed some doubts, but he didn’t say he wouldn’t go. And I talked to Prime Minister Hailemariam — Hailemariam – who made it clear to me that Mr. Machar made a commitment to him that he would come. And he – the Ethiopians will be in touch with him. They said to me they will make the arrangements. In my conversation he expressed some concerns about the logistics, but his wife is in Ethiopia and we are convinced that that is the only way forward.

So he has a fundamental decision to make. If he decides not to or procrastinates, then we have a number of different options that are available to us. We said we are serious. There will be accountability and implications if people do not join into this legitimate effort. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and I had a conversation yesterday. He will be going to Juba tomorrow, and we talked about the process going ahead.

And let me make it clear that if there is a total refusal by one party or the other to engage in a legitimate promise which they have previously promised they would engage in, not only might sanctions be engaged, but there are other serious implications and possible consequences. So –

The parties need to recognize that they signed a cessation of hostilities agreement – both of them. And the international community is prepared to take steps to see that that is honored by putting additional forces in. I talked with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about the UN process with respect to that, and he is committed to see to it that we live up to our part of this bargain. So we encourage both leaders to take advantage of this moment to try to make peace with their people, and we’ve made it very clear that there are other choices available to the international community if they do not.

With respect to President Dos Santos’s commitments to the Central African Republic, the answer is yes, he is absolutely committed to further engagement. He will be directly engaged with the leaders in the region and providing additional assistance, as will we. And we agreed that the United States effort is already providing lift and assistance to the French in addition to resources, and I think that Angola’s prepared not only to do the same but to take a leadership role in convening leaders in order to try to diminish the level of violence and protect the civilian population. We did talk about that.

MS. PSAKI: The next question is from Mateus Gaspar.

SECRETARY KERRY: Let me – I didn’t (inaudible).

MS. PSAKI: Oh.

QUESTION: So (inaudible), what are the other possible consequences?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, you know there are. They’ve been talked about. There’s accountability in the international community for atrocities. There are sanctions. There are possibilities of peacemaking forces. There are any number of possibilities.

MS. PSAKI: The next question is from Mateus Gasper from TPA TV.

QUESTION: (In Portuguese.)

SECRETARY KERRY: Can you hear? You got – a bit closer?

PARTICIPANT: Do you have a mike?

SECRETARY KERRY: He has a mike, yes.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) The United States and Angola have had diplomatic relations since 1973. They’ve had a strategic agreement since 2009. But really, very little has been done. There have been very few developments. What is the United States’s reason and where do you envision that this relationship will grow and get stronger, and in what areas?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, thank you very much. You are correct that there was a strategic dialogue agreement signed. And there has not been enough ability to follow up, and some meetings that were supposed to have taken place unfortunately got delayed. That’s why I’m here. I came here specifically because we have a desire to make sure that we build on that dialogue. And I can guarantee that today we laid out a schedule that over the next few months will wind up with our meeting probably in Washington, somewhere maybe even around the President’s summit. We will have our first meeting in order to follow up. We’ve agreed to set a specific timetable and a specific agenda. And that agenda will include a broad array of ways in which we work together. We currently do many – let me let him translate.

We have agreed today that we will continue to work together closely with Senator Feingold and the International Conference on the Great Lakes. We agreed that we will work on the Central African Republic and we will work on other security issues in the region. We agreed we will have an energy dialogue and we will have further discussion about the bilateral business economic relationship, including infrastructure, agriculture, oil and gas, energy, energy diversity.

We agreed we will continue to do the work we do now with respect to health in Angola, work on malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. And we will continue to be engaged in the health sector, and we particularly are excited about the possibilities of working on technology. We agreed to have a specific energy dialogue and we agreed that we will share the agenda with each other in the next days in preparations for the next round of meetings.

Thank you.

MS. PSAKI: Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you all very much.


Africa: Remarks With Angolan Foreign Minister Georges Chikoti After Their Meeting

Remarks With Angolan Foreign Minister Georges Chikoti After Their Meeting

Remarks

John Kerry
Secretary of State

Ministry of Finance
Luanda, Angola
May 5, 2014


FOREIGN MINISTER CHIKOTI: (Via interpreter) Good morning. I had an opportunity to most recently meet with Secretary of State Kerry where we discussed –

SECRETARY KERRY: You want to press the mike up —

FOREIGN MINISTER CHIKOTI: — (Via interpreter) where we discussed our bilateral relations and their growth and their positive growth. We touched on things – not only petroleum, but other credits, such as the recent $600 million credit given by the Ex-Im Bank so that we could buy more Boeing planes. And we look forward to greater economic relations and other in the near future.

We also discussed quite simply political stability on the African continent, and we had occasion to thank the United States for its initiatives in the southern Sudan and the DRC, where we’re also active, and in other conflicts throughout the region where President Dos Santos and the Government of Angola are continuing our efforts in this regard.

We also had occasion to discuss the August 1st summit of African leaders to be held in Washington with over 40 African leaders to be present and discussed some of the items that will be featured on the agenda there.

We also – the talks held took place in a very positive and friendly and cooperative environment. We discussed our future plans and our future relationship would be more frequent amongst ourselves – at least once a year and more often than that at the lower levels.

Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Muito obrigado. Thank you very much. Thank you. Well, I agree with the summary that the foreign minister gave. I want to thank Foreign Minister Chikoti for his very generous welcome, and I appreciate the extremely comprehensive and very productive discussion that we just had.

We opened up enough topics and found agreement on a number of them that we really felt that it was important to continue this discussion, that there is a great deal that we can work on together – not just on the economics but on security in the region, on development and regional issues. And I am very grateful, as is President Obama, for the significant leadership of President Dos Santos and of the Foreign Minister on the efforts of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region. That leadership is making a difference in helping to bring about stability and peace.

And the greatest restraint on transformation and opportunity for people and for growth and development in many places is the instability. So the contributions of Angola and our efforts to try to work together on a strategic dialogue will be very important and we look forward to continuing that.

Finally, let me just say that we’re very pleased that the Commerce Department will be opening a commercial service office here in the near term, and we in the State Department will continue to be very supportive of the economic relationship. Yesterday, I had a chance to visit the port to see General Electric and some of the efforts of our energy companies. That’s important. But as I said to the foreign minister, the United States does not want its relationship with Angola defined simply by an economic relationship.

So we look forward to welcoming President Dos Santos to Washington for our African leader’s summit, and I look forward to continuing this strategic dialogue with my counterpart, with the foreign minister, and I am absolutely confident that the relationship between the United States and Angola will become one of the most important on the continent and will be extremely productive based on the conversation we’ve had this morning.

Thank you. (Applause.)