The United States and the African Union will increase their already close cooperation to promote democracy and development in Africa. Following three days of talks in Washington, it was agreed that meetings will be held at least annually to discuss and coordinate efforts on a range of issues such as fighting hunger and boosting peacekeeping operations.
The U.S. is a strong supporter of the A.U. as an essential institution for defending our common principles of democracy and governance.
Comprised of 53 member states, the A.U. was founded in 2002 to find African answers to the continent's problems, replacing the old Organization for African Unity.
Since then, it has worked to coordinate responses to transnational issues such as climate change and to assume a greater role in regional security. It has sent peacekeepers to Sudan, Somalia, the Comoros and other conflict zones. It also has acted against unconstitutional changes in the governments of Mauritania, Guinea, Niger and Madagascar.
The United States is one of only two governments to have a dedicated ambassador to the A.U., and it is the largest financial supporter of the A.U.'s peace and security programs. But more than peacekeeping, the relationship is defined by the deep historical and modern ties which unite our citizens. America's partnership with the A.U. will strengthen our mutual interests and promote our common values.