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Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III Remarks Welcoming the President of Mozambique Filipe Jacinto Nyusi

SEC. AUSTIN: Mr. President, it's great to see you again. And I hear that you had a productive week at the U.N. General Assembly. Congratulations on signing another compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation in linking development and defense. And thanks for your leadership at the U.N. Security Council on issues from climate change to the role of women in security.

We also share your determination to prevent illegal fishing and trafficking in the region. So I appreciate your partnership on strengthening maritime security and domain awareness. We're committed to continuing to work together to eliminate the causes of conflict and to expand security in the region, and that's central to the U.S. strategy to prevent conflict and promote stability. We're investing in our partnership with Mozambique to strengthen regional stability.

We're aligning diplomacy, development, and defense to get after the forces that fuel instability and insecurity. So let me commend your important work to bring peace to your country after so many years of violence through efforts like signing the Maputo Peace Accords and demobilizing former fighters.

Terrorism remains a significant threat to regional security, and both of our countries have suffered from terrorism and we are in this together. So we're deeply grateful for your partnership to counter violent extremist groups in northern Mozambique, and your cooperation with the Southern Africa Development Community and the European Union and others shows the power of partnership in combating violent extremism.

We're also pleased to continue our partnership with Mozambique's Armed Forces and we look forward to deepening the military training between our countries.

And finally, Cyclone Freddy reminded us earlier this year of the disastrous effects that climate change can have on security, and we remain committed to working with you to mitigate those dangers.

Mr. President, thank you for your leadership to bolster regional security and for everything that you're doing to deepen our defense partnership. We are absolutely delighted to host you here, Mr. President. So thanks for taking the time to visit with us today.

Mr. President?

PRESIDENT FILIPE NYUSI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Thank you very much. I wish to express my gratitude for the opportunity you are providing me to exchange, to compare notes on the area, the important area, under your leadership, defense.

I'm deeply touched for the fact that after our telephone conversation, I mentioned that I would be here in Washington, D.C. on the 21st, and that was very fast to schedule a meeting. And here we are, we are meeting.

I did not have an opportunity to introduce my delegation but I'm here with the Minister of Economy and Finance Max Tonela and the Ambassador of Mozambique to the USA. This side, I have the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy and my diplomatic advisor.

I wish to thank you most sincerely and President Biden and the government of the United States of America for the support we have been enjoying in different areas, ranging from the economy, health, and security.

I'll recall during the time of COVID-19 we did not have much possibilities but your country lended a hand and supported us so as to cope with these problem, and indeed, we are very grateful for that.

Following your advice, indeed I welcomed to my office General Michael Langley. He was with me. We talked, we compared notes, and I expressed to him our requirements in terms of our defense cooperation.

On the MCC, I fully agree with you and also on countering terrorism and also the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and reconciliation, as well as the need to do the surveillance of our maritime domain, maritime domain awareness. Indeed, we need to check these measures and do a bit more on that.

We remain ready to receive vessels of the United States of America coming to Mozambique to visit us, which is an opportunity for joint training with our own Navy. And we will remain indeed ready to deepen our cooperation in this regard.

So these would be my introductory remarks at this point in time. Thank you.

SEC. AUSTIN: Well, thank you, Mr. President. And again, we are delighted to have you here and I look forward to a great conversation.

Thanks, everybody.