US ambassador says relations with Portugal “at an all time high”

Giving his first interview since taking office last August (click here), US ambassador George Glass has said that relations between the two countries are currently at an “all time high”.

With the US State Department already classifying Portugal as one of the “level one” (safest) countries for its citizens to visit, Glass stresses that it is also one with which America is keen to do more business.

Very much in the same vein that Portugal is striving to promote the possibilities of the Blue Economy (attached to its vast tracts of continental platform click here), America is “looking to the Atlantic” to boost international trade deals, as much as its own safety.

Said Glass, “we have to concentrate on the Atlantic as much on an economic level as on a level of defence”.

From an economic point of view, the US is hoping to export large quantities of national liquid gas to Portugal through Sines port, he said, stressing the deal would be “an opportunity for Portugal to think big and be very audacious in this situation”.

There is a “vast scenario for economic growth connected to liquid natural gas” he said, thus this is a “stimulating moment” for both countries.

In a tweet to the Resident on Monday, Mr Glass added that this feelgood moment doesn’t mean that both countries “agree on every issue, but it does mean that communication and understanding between our two governments has never been better”.

Areas where there may not be complete agreement are the US withdrawal from its airbase at Lajes, in Azores, but Glass has assured reporters that he still believes there are “a lot of opportunities at Lajes and in the Azores” and that he has had “various conversations” with the archipelago’s president Vasco Cordeiro which see “everything advancing”.

But as to the burning question of whether this historic point in the two nation’s mutual relationships will see a State visit by President Trump, Mr Glass was doubtful.

He explained that “President Trump centres his interest in visiting places where problems exist and things need get done.

“The relationship with Portugal is going so well that there may be no reason”.

Needless to say, Mr Glass said he will try, and “has already spoken with members of the Trump family” because he thinks the interest is there, while – on a global level – there is “very high interest in the government of the United States of America”.

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Photo: United States Ambassador to the Republic of Portugal George E. Glass first official visit to Madeira from January 6-9, 2018

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