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Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Claire A. Pierangelo
Drone Handover Ceremony
November 16, 2022

Moroni, Union of the Comoros

November 8, 2022

Thank you to our hosts the Minister of Defense Youssouf Mohamed Ali the Comoros Coast Guard, commanded by Moudjib Adain and other honored guests

I am pleased to be joined here today by Deputy Director, Strategy, Engagement, and Programs, U.S. Africa Command Brigadier General Peter Bailey, USAID/Madagascar Mission Director Anne Williams, and representatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL).

We are honored to be here today with Spirit of America to hand over three TEAL drones to the Comoros Coast Guard.

For any country with a coastline, maritime domain awareness is important.  But for an island nation in the Mozambique Channel, maritime domain awareness is critical.

That is why we are happy to work with the Comorian military and Coast Guard to give you new tools to monitor your territorial waters and protect your sovereignty.

We hope that you will use these drones to counter illegal fishing in your exclusive economic zone (EEZ), prevent illicit trafficking in your waters, and save the lives of Comorian fishermen and other mariners during search and rescue missions.

Spirit of America is a U.S. non-governmental organization that works alongside diplomats and military personnel to save and improve lives.  They provide materials, programs, and personnel to demonstrate the spirit of American friendship.

Spirit of America is funded by private donations by American citizens, and they have generously used some of those donations to provide you, the Comoros Coast Guard, with these drones.  We hope they will make your country safer and more secure.

When I first visited Comoros in July, I said that I believed we were starting a new chapter in U.S.-Comoros bilateral relations.  Today represents an important step in expanding our partnership.

As we move forward, we will expand security cooperation, increase development and English language assistance, and broaden trade and investment between our two countries.

We look forward to today’s demonstration, and trust that these drones will serve as essential tools for your Coast Guard for many years.

Thank you.