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During the 29th gathering of the U.S.-Portugal Permanent Bilateral Commission in Washington, D.C., on May 5, 2011, the United States and Portugal reaffirmed their political and military alliance and agreed to expand and enhance bilateral cooperation across a range of areas, utilizing the Bilateral Commission as a platform for increased cooperation. To that end, the United States and Portugal agreed to establish five new subsidiary bodies to facilitate its work: Defense Committee; Science, Technology, Energy and Environment Committee; Trade and Investment Committee; Justice and Home Affairs Committee; and Committee for Cooperation with the Azores.
With regard to Africa, the United States and Portugal agreed on the need to build stronger democratic institutions throughout Africa; to tackle transnational crime, including narcotics trafficking and terrorism in West Africa; to remain engaged on maritime security issues; and to build the capacity of partner defense and security forces. The delegations applauded the signing of a memorandum of understanding to place a U.S. diplomat in the Portuguese Embassy in Guinea-Bissau.
With regard to law enforcement and homeland security, the delegations recognized the need to reinforce their cooperation in the fight against transnational crime and drug trafficking, counter-terrorism and counter-terrorist financing, and security of the global supply chain.
In defense matters, the delegations said they intend, among other things, to use the new Defense Committee framework to encourage expanded dialogue on acquisition and technology issues; to strengthen military-to-military ties; and to expand defense policy dialogue. The delegations intend to identify cooperation activities of mutual benefit in support of shared security interests in Africa.
The delegations agreed to strengthen the support that the airbase at Lajes Field in the Azores provides to United States and Allied forces in various theaters of operation.
They also reaffirmed the importance of deepening the scientific and technological collaboration between the two countries and pledged to encourage the establishment of future partnerships between key U.S. federal agencies and Portuguese institutions for the development of collaborative research activities in the areas of deep-sea research, nanotechnology, space, environmental management, energy efficiency and renewable energy.
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