U.S. and Angola Deepen Defense Cooperation

May 28, 2024: Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III welcomed Angolan Defense Minister Joao Ernesto dos Santos to the Pentagon today, continuing discussions initiated during Austin’s visit to Angola in September.

Austin emphasized that Angola is a strategic partner and regional leader for the U.S., noting the deepening ties and tremendous potential between the two nations.

This outreach aligns with the goals set during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit hosted by President Joe Biden in 2022. At the summit, Biden declared, “Africa’s success is the world’s success.” Since then, the U.S. has engaged in high-level dialogues with African partners to advance these objectives.

Austin’s visit to Angola marked the first time a U.S. defense secretary visited the country. He highlighted the significance of the defense partnership, stating, “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 has the potential to grow, with Austin specifically mentioning cooperation in cybersecurity and Angola’s potential participation in the Defense Department’s National Guard 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. “The Department of Defense looks forward to continuing cooperation with Angola as you restructure and modernize your armed forces.”

Angolan Defense Minister dos Santos acknowledged Angola’s leadership role on the continent, highlighting its focus on conflict prevention and resolution through peaceful interstate dialogue. “The geostrategic and 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 said through a translator. “The Republic of Angola is focused on an agenda of conflict prevention and resolution by peaceful means.”–By Jim Garamone