FOREIGN MINISTER CHIKOTI: (Via interpreter) Good morning. I had an opportunity to most recently meet with Secretary of State Kerry where we discussed –
SECRETARY KERRY: You want to press the mike up --
FOREIGN MINISTER CHIKOTI: -- (Via interpreter) where we discussed our bilateral relations and their growth and their positive growth. We touched on things – not only petroleum, but other credits, such as the recent $600 million credit given by the Ex-Im Bank so that we could buy more Boeing planes. And we look forward to greater economic relations and other in the near future.
We also discussed quite simply political stability on the African continent, and we had occasion to thank the United States for its initiatives in the southern Sudan and the DRC, where we’re also active, and in other conflicts throughout the region where President Dos Santos and the Government of Angola are continuing our efforts in this regard.
We also had occasion to discuss the August 1st summit of African leaders to be held in Washington with over 40 African leaders to be present and discussed some of the items that will be featured on the agenda there.
We also – the talks held took place in a very positive and friendly and cooperative environment. We discussed our future plans and our future relationship would be more frequent amongst ourselves – at least once a year and more often than that at the lower levels.
SECRETARY KERRY: Muito obrigado. Thank you very much. Thank you. Well, I agree with the summary that the foreign minister gave. I want to thank Foreign Minister Chikoti for his very generous welcome, and I appreciate the extremely comprehensive and very productive discussion that we just had.
We opened up enough topics and found agreement on a number of them that we really felt that it was important to continue this discussion, that there is a great deal that we can work on together – not just on the economics but on security in the region, on development and regional issues. And I am very grateful, as is President Obama, for the significant leadership of President Dos Santos and of the Foreign Minister on the efforts of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region. That leadership is making a difference in helping to bring about stability and peace.
And the greatest restraint on transformation and opportunity for people and for growth and development in many places is the instability. So the contributions of Angola and our efforts to try to work together on a strategic dialogue will be very important and we look forward to continuing that.
Finally, let me just say that we’re very pleased that the Commerce Department will be opening a commercial service office here in the near term, and we in the State Department will continue to be very supportive of the economic relationship. Yesterday, I had a chance to visit the port to see General Electric and some of the efforts of our energy companies. That’s important. But as I said to the foreign minister, the United States does not want its relationship with Angola defined simply by an economic relationship.
So we look forward to welcoming President Dos Santos to Washington for our African leader’s summit, and I look forward to continuing this strategic dialogue with my counterpart, with the foreign minister, and I am absolutely confident that the relationship between the United States and Angola will become one of the most important on the continent and will be extremely productive based on the conversation we’ve had this morning.
Thank you. (Applause.)