I would like to thank his Excellency President Jose Eduardo dos Santos for accepting my credentials. It is an honor for me to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Angola. I have long been fascinated by Angola and I have a profound respect for the Angolan people.
During our meeting, I stressed that the United States shares the vision of a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Angola that President dos Santos outlined in his State of the Union address. The United States is committed to supporting Angola in its efforts to diversify its economy, enhance good governance, strengthen democratic institutions and improve the country's health system. President dos Santos and I also discussed the strategic partnership between our two countries. As President Obama has said, America's partnerships with its friends and allies are guided by three principles: mutual respect, mutual responsibility, and mutual interests. The United States and Angola have an obligation to define and develop this partnership in a manner that advances the collective interests of their nations.
The American - Angolan partnership extends beyond our two governments. We have strong people-to-people ties, including many families with links to both countries. I am proud that American missionaries and non-governmental organizations have worked in Angola for many decades. I am equally proud that thousands of Angolans are alumni of American universities and exchange programs. Likewise, the growing presence of American companies in Angola demonstrates the increasing importance of our commercial relationship, which benefits the people of both countries. I commend President dos Santos for the economic reforms that Angola has undertaken; these reforms are critical steps toward achieving greater economic diversification and more equitable growth.
I hope to build on the work of my predecessors in forging stronger ties not only with the Government of Angola but also with the Angolan people. My wife, Laurel, and I are eager to get to know the people and culture of this richly diverse country.