18 May 2017

Angola Reaffirms Commitment to Peace in Great Lakes Region

Washington — Angola is steadfast in resolving conflicts in Africa and believes that with the support of the United States of America, it will be able to achieve this goal.

This perspective was highlighted on Wednesday by the Angolan Defense Minister, João Lourenço, after signing the Memorandum of Understanding, which strengthens cooperation in the defense sector between the US and Angola, at the Pentagon (Washington).

To João Lourenço, the moment with his American counterpart, Secretary of State for Defense James Mattis, marks a main legal instrument and it shall open all doors to reach the goal.

According to the Angolan official, from now on the cooperation relations in the defense field between the two nations will be record new dynamics, with more training and collaborative actions.

João Lourenço stressed the importance of the fact that James Mattis thanked the commitment and authorization of the Angolan President, José Eduardo dos Santos, for this protocol to be signed on Wednesday in the US State Department of Defense.

To him, this was only possible because Angola sees this cooperation as "something very serious" in the closer relations between the two countries.

However, the minister believes that all parties will win because of their greater rapprochement, noting that the United States is a world power and underlined the geo-strategic position of Angola in the Southern Africa and Great Lakes region in Africa.

On the fight against terrorism and negative influences on the African continent, João Lourenço said that due to the location and respect that the country enjoys, it could be important to act to stabilize the zones in conflicts, especially in the Gulf of Guinea and Central Africa.

"We are committed to seeking to help the countries of the Great Lakes to find the peace they need, in particular the CAR, which is experiencing a situation of instability that has already lasted for some years, as well as in DRC and Burundi", he said.

He recalled that Angola presides over the Great Lakes Region until December of this year and reaffirmed that the country will play all the influence to help these countries to get out of the situation in which they are in.

"We have already made this effort and, from this moment on that we have just signed this memorandum of understanding, we intend to take action. With the US partnership, we will better fulfill this role in the Great Lakes region", said João Lourenço, who visited the Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday morning, where he laid a wreath on the tomb of an unknown soldier.

On his turn, the Secretary of State for Defense James Mattis said that he counts on Angola to make peace in the conflict zones and thanked the Angolan state for its support in the search for peace in the world.

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