On December 17, 2020 the United States and Portugal held virtually their 44th Standing Bilateral Commission, to discuss collaboration on key issues. On the top of the agenda was Portugal’s priorities for
their upcoming EU presidency.
Discussion started with United States and Portugal underscoring the negative global impact of COVID-19 and the growing importance of digital transition for economic recovery, including the use of trusted technology vendors for 5G networks and the promotion of a free, open, and innovative Transatlantic digital economy. To further drive mutually beneficial economic growth, they plan on deepening cooperation in the areas of science, technology, energy, and environment.
Both emphasized their shared commitment to promoting human rights around the world, and to work together to uphold shared interests and core
values, especially as it relates to Venezuela, Mozambique, and security in the Atlantic and Africa. They also recognized the importance of their collaboration in training officials on combatting trafficking in persons, with a joint bilateral training event to be held in January.
Both sides reiterated how their strong transatlantic relationship remains essential for the security and prosperity of both partners, and in October 2020 celebrated the inauguration of a new tactical landing airstrip
at Lajes Field, Azores. The joint Portuguese-U.S. military effort transformed an abandoned runway into a new, mid-Atlantic training venue. The strip provides tactical airlift pilots realistic training in challenging short-distance takeoff and landings. It is one of the few locations in Europe to train to the capability.
In addition to the security and policy areas, Ambassador Glass focused on other Embassy initiatives, such as: a MOU for increasing exchanges between the two countries; a reforestation project, which
planted 16,000 trees in areas devasted by wildfire; and the Ambassador’s most recent trip along the N2 saying “we cannot forget the importance of people-to-people connections. As our joint statement notes, our relationship is underpinned by the shared values of our people. These achievements are a testament to the strength of our relationship as allies, partners, and friends.”
The United States and Portugal remain resolute in their bilateral collaboration and committed to strengthening their partnership. By the close of the session, both countries approved a joint statement, full text of which can be found here.