MORONI – The American people demonstrated their commitment to the security, safety, economic growth, and development of Comoros during a visit by officials this week. U.S. Ambassador to Madagascar and Comoros Claire A. Pierangelo, Brigadier General Peter Bailey, U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM), USAID Madagascar Mission Director Anne Williams, and attachés from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) visited Comoros November 6-9 to collaborate with Comorian government officials and strengthen economic development, maritime security, law enforcement cooperation, and development assistance.
Leaders from the United States met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Dhoihir Dhoulkamal and Defense Delegate Youssouf Mohamed Ali, among other government officials.
Ambassador Pierangelo and General Bailey participated in a ceremony to hand over three maritime surveillance drones to the Comoros Coast Guard. The drones, donated by U.S. non-governmental organization Spirit of America, will improve Comoros’ maritime security; save lives during search and rescue missions; prevent illegal fishing; and reduce the trafficking of persons and narcotics. Spirit of America relies on donations made by U.S. private citizens to fund its activities, including the purchase of these drones for Comoros.
At the handover ceremony, Brigadier General Bailey, USAFRICOM’s deputy director for Strategy, Engagement, and Programs and the first USAFRICOM general to visit Comoros, announced a 50 percent increase in funding to support participation in U.S. International Military Education and Training for members of the Comoros military and Coast Guard.
INL and DEA attachés announced a new Western Indian Ocean Island Nations Counternarcotics Project. This $735,000 initiative will help Comoros, Madagascar, Seychelles, and Mauritius counter regional narcotics activity, as well as support maritime security, narcotics investigations, and information sharing. The DEA also provided new drug testing kits and drug identification packets to Comorian law-enforcement officials for use in investigations.
Ambassador Pierangelo and USAID Mission Director Anne Williams met with local NGOs to explore development assistance and celebrated the graduates of a U.S. Embassy-sponsored Solutions Journalism training program in Anjouan.
To promote economic growth, Ambassador Pierangelo met with representatives from U.S. companies to discuss trade and investment in Comoros. She noted: “The U.S. government is pleased to see growing engagement between the Union of the Comoros and U.S. businesses. Around the world, U.S. companies bring with them quality investment, high business standards, and advanced technology. U.S. companies are also well known for investing in local communities, creating jobs in the local economy, and protecting the environment.”