Independent commission calls for closer relationship between Washington and Luanda

10 May 2007

Washington, United States, 10 May – An independent US commission published a report Monday in Washington, which suggested that Washington should boost its ties – including military ones – with Angola.

In its 80-page report, the 23 members of the commission said that the Strategic Interests of the United States in terms of power and security in the Gulf of Guinea would best be served by the strengthening of ties with Angola within the scope of greater ties to Africa.

“The progress made by Angola in introducing reforms are side by side with a stronger bilateral relationship between the United States and Angola as recommended by the commission,” the report said.

The commission is co-presided by the retired ambassador and vice-president for foreign relations, Frank Wisner and by Vincent Mai, a member of the commission on Africa and chairman of brokerage AEA Investors.

Most of the members of the commission are from private companies with investments in Africa and with some government experience, particularly foreign affairs.

“Angola is at a crossroads,” the report said adding that few countries would be more important to US interests than Angola.

The report added that the success or failure of Angola in the transition to democracy after 30 years of war had implications for the supply of the United States with oil, as well as the for the stability of Central and Southern Africa.

In order to promote US interests in Africa, Washington should, according to the report, increase the importance it gives to relations with Angola.

The members of the commission suggest that Washington should set up a high level bilateral commission in order to carry out regular talks with Angola similarly to what occurs with other African state, such as South Africa, Ethiopia and Nigeria. (macauhub)