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Remarks With Angolan Foreign Minister Georges Chikoti


Remarks
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
November 18, 2015


FOREIGN MINISTER CHIKOTI: It was so liberating, our 40th independence – you know Brazil is --

SECRETARY KERRY: I know, I know.

FOREIGN MINISTER CHIKOTI: -- the first country that recognized Angola.

SECRETARY KERRY: I do know.

FOREIGN MINISTER CHIKOTI: So we had a very long conversation there.

SECRETARY KERRY: My great pleasure to welcome my friend, the foreign minister of Angola, Georges Chikoti, and to celebrate with him the 40th year of independence of Angola, which he has just been telling me he came from Brazil and they’ve been celebrating there.

We are really grateful for this, now the second year of a Strategic Dialogue with Angola, and I personally had the opportunity a few days ago to talk to President Dos Santos about the situation in the region. Angola has been a leader, and the president – particularly with his foreign minister – have really been hands-on in trying to help resolve the problems of neighboring states. I am confident today we will focus significantly on the challenge of Burundi, the violence that is breaking out there in the region.

And Angola plays a very special role. It has a senior leadership stature that has been very important to helping to find peaceful resolution to some of these conflicts. So we appreciate their work on democracy, their work on climate change, their work on counterterrorism. And obviously, with what’s going on in the world, we have a great deal to talk about.

So thank you for being here with us.

FOREIGN MINISTER CHIKOTI: Thank you, thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: We really appreciate it. Thank you, my friend.

FOREIGN MINISTER CHIKOTI: Thank you, John.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you. Please.

FOREIGN MINISTER CHIKOTI: Well, let me thank Secretary John Kerry first for inviting us on this special occasion of the 40th anniversary of Angola. And you may all know that the United States recognized the Government of Angola 22 years ago, and since then we have been constructing a very, very good partnership. We then negotiated a strategic partnership which is promoting dialogue between Angola and the United States in all areas of interest between our two countries, and, as well as Secretary Kerry has said, our two countries also share views on many other issues related to the African continent in particular, where we have a few conflicts going around our neighborhood. We have the problem of Burundi, Central African Republic, South Sudan, and even issues of Nigeria. Today, the world is concerned as far as terrorism is concerned, particularly when we see what is happening in Nigeria, but also very recently in France.

So I think all those issues will certainly continue to be our concern. With the United States, we are also developing a very important dialogue towards constructing sustainable institutions in Angola. So I think that the United States support – may it be on the private sector in Angola, may it be to build democratic institutions – has been very, very important. And we do treasure that we met – we meet regularly, may it be here or may it be under conversations through President Santos and Mr. Kerry, which they held very recently on some pressing issues related to Africa.

Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, my friend.

FOREIGN MINISTER CHIKOTI: Thank you.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary --

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you very much.

QUESTION: -- (inaudible)?

SECRETARY KERRY: There’s a lot of counterterrorism activity, people have stepped up the activity, and I think that’s what you’re seeing. Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER CHIKOTI: Thank you.

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