U.S. and Portugal Meet on Economic Recovery, Foreign Policy Priorities, and Lajes

The U.S. Mission in Portugal today hosted part of the Standing Bilateral Commission with Portugal.  U.S. Ambassador to Portugal, George Glass and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Director General for Foreign Policy, Ambassador Madalena Fischer presided over a signing ceremony of the Space Situational Awareness Data Sharing Agreement, signed by Rear Admiral Marcus Hitchcock, U.S. Space Command Director for Strategy, Plans, and Policy and Dr. Alberto Coelho, Director-General for Portuguese National Defense Resources.  The two nations also completed a Maritime Security Agreement.

The United States discussed with Portugal —  a valued EU and NATO partner, ally, and friend — economic recovery on both sides of the Atlantic, common foreign policy challenges with the People’s Republic of China and Russia, and efforts to return democracy to Venezuela.  We also discussed opportunities and challenges to enhancing economic development and security in Africa, noting Portugal’s presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2021.

Both countries affirmed that Lajes Field in the Azores is an important part of the bilateral relationship and marked a pathway to closure on four more of the remaining environmental sites.  Additionally, we expressed interest in facilitating more scientific, commercial, and educational opportunities, particularly in the Azores.  We also marked July 7 as the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Consulate in the Azores, the oldest continuously-operating U.S. Consulate in the world.

This was the 43rd meeting of the Bilateral Commission.  This meeting, due to COVID-19, was a hybrid of in-person and virtual discussions in Washington, D.C., Lisbon, and in the Azores.

More information about the space agreement is available here.

Media outlets interested in receiving more information should contact the U.S. Embassy Press Office at 21 770 2439 or by e-mail to morenomv@state.gov.