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U.S., Angolan Defense Leaders Discuss Deepening Cooperation

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III welcomed Angolan Defense Minister Joao Ernesto dos Santos to the Pentagon today to continue talks begun when Austin visited the African nation in September.

Austin said Angola is a U.S. strategic partner and a regional leader. He said the ties between the two nations are growing deeper and have tremendous potential. 

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III speaks with another civilian while standing in a hallway.
Partner Exchange
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III speaks with Angolan Defense Minister João Ernesto dos Santos before a bilateral exchange at the Pentagon, May 28, 2024.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Alexander Kubitza, DOD
VIRIN: 240528-D-PM193-1208R

The outreach to African nations follows the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which was hosted by President Joe Biden in 2022. At the summit, the president said, "Africa's success is the world's success." 

Since that meeting, the United States has continued high-level dialogue with African partners to advance the goals the leaders agreed upon. 

Austin became the first defense secretary to visit Angola. "I traveled to Angola because of the importance of our defense partnership," he said at the meeting. "I'm proud of all that we've done together to deepen our partnership, from maritime security to peacekeeping to defense policy and more." 

The military-to-military relationship between the two nations has the potential to grow, Austin said, and he specifically talked about strengthening cooperation in cybersecurity, as well as Angola's potential participation in the Defense Department's National Guard's State Partnership Program

"We're eager to work together to seize this historic opportunity to promote peace, security and responsible rules-based governance," Austin said. "And the Department of Defense looks forward to continue the cooperation with Angola as you restructure and modernize your armed forces." 

Mini American and Angolan flags sit on a table, with full-size flags from both nations in the background.
American and Angolan Flags
U.S. and Angolan flags are on display at the Pentagon for a meeting between Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Angolan Defense Minister João Ernesto dos Santos, May 28, 2024.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Alexander Kubitza, DOD
VIRIN: 240528-D-PM193-1260

Angola is a leader among the nations of the continent. "The geostrategic and the geopolitical space in which Angola is inserted requires special attention due to the deep historical, geographical, economic and cultural complexities of the community," dos Santos told the secretary through a translator. "The Republic of Angola is …  focused on an agenda of conflict prevention and resolution by peaceful means in interstate dialogue."

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