President Joe Biden welcomed Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço to the Oval Office on Thursday, aiming to reaffirm his dedication to Africa despite the two ongoing wars dominating his administration's foreign policy focus.
The White House encounter follows Angola's strategic positioning as a key ally to the United States and its departure from Russian and Chinese influence under President Lourenço's leadership. Although President Biden seems likely to deviate from his promise to visit the continent this year, senior U.S. officials have undertaken crucial trips to Africa throughout 2023.
Biden emphasized the significance of the moment, stating, “We are facing a historic moment. America is fully committed to Africa. We stand united with Angola.”
President Lourenço commended Biden's approach to the continent and expressed his country's interest in fostering stronger economic and security connections with the United States.
Lobbyists advocating for President Lourenço had been urging Biden administration officials to arrange this meeting for months, cautioning that the absence of such a high-profile engagement could potentially jeopardize Angola's commitment to collaboration with the U.S.