May 9, 2023
Thank you for joining us here today. It is a pleasure to be back in Comoros and to celebrate the 247th anniversary of the U.S. Declaration of Independence with you.
When we gathered together last year for our Independence Day celebration, Ambassador Pierangelo was on her first trip to Comoros and said that it marked a “new chapter in our bilateral relationship.”
One year later, we are pleased to look back at the significant progress we have made in expanding the U.S. – Comoros partnership.
The United States wants to help Comoros become a stronger and more prosperous democracy that respects human rights and the rule of law and is a partner to the United States in upholding the rules-based international order.
In February, we signed the U.S.- Comoros Joint Statement of Cooperation, which sets out a vision for how we can advance our shared goals for enhancing our partnership in five key areas including democracy and governance, development assistance, security cooperation, economic and commercial ties, and people-to-people ties.
We are fostering large commercial agreements with U.S. corporations and investors in the fisheries and energy sectors. These investments signal American interest in helping Comoros sustainably develop your economic resources and build your human capacity.
We are collaborating in the security sector by increasing maritime security cooperation. This will help both countries address transnational crime — including violent extremism, illegal fishing, and the trafficking of humans, narcotics, and wildlife.
We are expanding the people-to-people ties that are essential to building Comorian capacity to solve Comorian problems.
In the coming weeks, we will open a state-of-the-art American Corner here in Moroni. Alumni of U.S. government exchange programs are using the skills they have gained to foster entrepreneurship in Moheli and build the capacity to combat gender-based violence in Anjouan. And we are working with the University of Comoros and Ministry of Education to strengthen English education at the university and secondary levels.
With support from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provided volcano monitoring equipment and training to Comoros to help scientists monitor the volcano so they can better protect the people of Comoros from future volcanic activity.
And we hope USAID will be able to begin work in Comoros in the near future, and that Peace Corps Volunteers will return.
The Joint Statement of Cooperation also called for our two countries to work together for regional and global peace, security, and prosperity.
We congratulate Comoros and President Azali for assuming the Chair of the African Union. The United States wants Comoros to be successful in this role and we want to work together to advance our shared goals for Africa.
Just last week, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken spoke with President Azali to thank him for his leadership of African Union-led efforts to de-escalate the crisis in Sudan.
It has been a landmark year in U.S. – Comoros relations. We are confident that the progress we have made together in the past year is just the beginning of a stronger partnership between our two countries.
And I can’t wait to see what we have to celebrate next year.
Thank you once again for joining us today.