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Deputy Secretary Verma’s Meeting with Comorian President Azali
May 31, 2023


The below is attributable to Spokesperson Matthew Miller:

Deputy Secretary of State Richard R. Verma met in Moroni, Comoros, with Comorian President Azali Assoumani.  Deputy Secretary Verma congratulated President Assoumani on his selection as Chair of the African Union.  They discussed the growing bilateral relationship between Comoros and the United States, including ways the United States can partner to create a stronger and more prosperous Comoros, based on our mutual respect for democratic governance and commitment to uphold the rules-based international order.  The leaders also spoke about opportunities for the United States and Comoros to facilitate regional integration and cooperation to address shared challenges.

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U.S. Engagement in Comoros 

Bilateral Relationship and U.S. Assistance:   

    • The United States and Comoros signed a Joint Statement of Cooperation in February 2023.
    • COVID Support:  The United States has provided 250,380 safe and effective COVID-19 doses in partnership with COVAX.
    • Development:  USAID and the Department of State have reprogrammed $5 million in foreign assistance to Comoros for food security, energy, and workforce development programs.
    • Democracy:  The Department of State, through the Africa Regional Democracy Fund, intends to provide, working with Congress, funding to increase civic participation for women and youth, and provide training on combating disinformation and corruption.
    • Maritime Security: 
      • The United States is working with Congress to finalize a package of maritime security assistance, including UAVs and associated training to increase Comoros’ maritime domain awareness.
      • The Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs supports Comoros maritime security efforts through regional training and a dedicated UN Office of Drugs and Crime mentor supporting the Comorian Coast Guard.
      • The Department of State Bureau of International Security and Non-Proliferation has provided capacity-building support to Comoros maritime administration since 2019 to improve the Comoros international ship registry’s ability to implement sanctions targeting DPRK and Iran.

The biography of Deputy Secretary of State Richard R. Verma is available here.