Toast at Luncheon Hosted by Angolan Foreign Minister Assuncao Afonso dos Anjos

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Luanda, Angola
August 9, 2009

Mr. Minister and Honorable members of government, His Eminence the Cardinal, distinguished members of the private sector and civil society here in Angola, I want to thank you for the very warm and gracious welcome you have given to me and my delegation.

The foreign minister and I had very productive discussions today, and we will work very closely together along with other members of our two governments to strengthen and deepen and broaden the relationship between Angola and the United States.

When the minister visited me in Washington on May 21st, we concluded at that very first meeting that our relationship was absolutely essential to the betterment of our people, this region, and the world. One of our initial objectives of our new relationship and our bilateral strategic dialogue will be to convene the first Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council meeting.

Of course, we want to improve the business and investment climate in Angola, because to do so will create more progress and development for the Angolan people. And we will work on expanding our technical assistance and support for agriculture, health, education, renewable energy, and so much more.

As President Obama said in his historic speech in Ghana, the future of Africa is up to the Africans. And of course, the future of Angola is up to the Angolans. But we wish to be your partner, your friend, and your ally in creating that better future. And based on the meeting we had this morning, the minister and I have a lot of work to do.

I look forward to that effort together, because I see so much promise here in Angola. But I must say, Mr. Minister, that as important as our meeting was, this beautiful lunch in this garden will always remain a very special memory. And I hope many people in my country see the beauty of your country through the television news about my visit and understand the extraordinary opportunity that exists here in Angola.

So if I may propose a toast, it, of course, gives me great personal pleasure that my husband, as president, normalized our relations. So now I, as Secretary of State, working with President Obama, will continue to build that relationship. So I would like to toast the future of the Angolan-United States relationship and hope for the betterment of the people of our two countries. God bless Angola.

PRN: 2009/T11-28