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Biden Invites Angolan President to Highlight Strengthened Relations as Africa Trip is Delayed

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President Joe Biden reaffirmed his commitment to Africa by hosting Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço in the Oval Office on Thursday. The meeting comes as Angola seeks to position itself as a strategic partner to the U.S. and as it has shifted away from Russian and Chinese influence under Lourenço’s leadership.

During the meeting, Biden expressed his support for Africa and emphasized that the U.S. is fully committed to Angola. Lourenço praised Biden’s approach to the continent and expressed his country’s desire to develop increased economic and security ties with the U.S.

The visit follows Angola’s efforts to strengthen its relationship with the U.S., and lobbyists for Lourenço had petitioned the Biden administration to set up the meeting between the two leaders for months. The visit also comes after the unveiling of a Trans-African Corridor connecting the Angolan port of Lobito with landlocked areas of Africa, part of a global infrastructure program championed by Biden as a counterweight to China’s Belt and Road initiative.

While the White House has repeatedly declined to confirm when Biden will visit Africa, the President has pledged to do so in 2023. However, Biden’s recent foreign policy focus has been on Russia’s war in Ukraine and the fighting between Israel and Hamas. Despite this, the meeting with Lourenço and the continued engagement with African leaders reaffirm the Biden administration’s commitment to the continent.

The meeting is seen as a positive step in strengthening ties with African nations and enhancing economic and security cooperation. It also marks a fundamental shift in Angolan foreign policy as the country seeks to align itself strategically with the United States. As Biden continues to navigate global conflicts, his administration remains committed to engaging with and supporting African nations.

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Photo credit apnews.com

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