US applauds Portugal’s efforts

US applauds Portugal’s efforts to solve economic challenges

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs Rui Machete met on Wednesday (January 29) at the White House for a 40-minute conference on current affairs.
Entering the meeting, John Kerry made a point to stress the “strong ties” between the two countries and the support the US has for Portugal’s recent economic struggles.
“Portugal has been working very, very hard to address significant economic challenges. We applaud the work that they have done and the reforms and efforts they have put in place,” Kerry said, standing alongside Machete in front of a panel of journalists in the Treaty Room.
Kerry made a point to stress that Portugal has “historical links with the US” and has been a “strong and important ally”.
“Most recently, we have been joined by our friends from Portugal in the efforts in Afghanistan, and we’re very grateful to them for their commitment and for their willingness to really take risks and to be part of this significant effort,” he stated.
To finish off his statement, the Secretary of State thanked Machete and those present with a “Muito Obrigado” (Thank You) – Kerry mentioned that he was married to a woman of Portuguese descent and so heard Portuguese in his house every single day.
The Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs also said a few words, stressing the number of Portuguese or people of Portuguese-descent living in the US – over 500,000 – and the friendship that ties the two countries.
“The United States can continue to count on Portugal as a reliable friend,” Machete promised.
The two politicians then went into their meeting, in which they discussed the future of the Lajes Military Base in the Azores, the possibility still of using a Portuguese port to trans-ship chemical weapons coming out of Syria, and a variety of other international matters.