US embassy defence attaché sees Navy’s potential as positive

The defence attaché of the US Embassy in Angola, John Ringquist, on Monday in the northern province of Zaire, considered the Soyo Naval Base an opportunity for the Navy to demonstrate its security capabilities in the country and in the Gulf of Guinea region.

Speaking to ANGOP, in the scope of the re-inauguration ceremony of Naval Base in Soyo, the US diplomat was worried due to the region´s instability and reaffirmed his country’s readiness to fight crime and illegal activities.

To him, the presence of the warships in the Gulf of Guinea region disrupts the activities of pirates, illegal fishermen and others, hence the need for cooperation between the naval forces of African countries and beyond.

He considered Angola a potential partner whose work can contribute to the improvement of the region.

John Ringquist said that there is no need to have a ship in the Gulf of Guinea every day, but with strong partners, like Angola, they should work to exchange and create security in the future, given the importance of the relationship between the naval forces of the two countries.

He said that the US has carried out specific naval exercises in North, South and West Africa, as well as with partners from other parts of the world, namely France, Spain, Brazil and Portugal.

On his turn, the defence attaché of the Portuguese Embassy in Angola, Paulo Guedes Vaz, considered that the Soyo Naval Base is important for combating piracy in the Gulf of Guinea region, stressing that the Angolan government’s investment will modernise the infrastructure, adding that it will make the Navy invest more in the training of its staff.

The diplomat also spoke of the need for the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) and the Portuguese Armed Forces to continue making joint military exercises in order to strengthen combat skills.

The Soyo Naval Base has a regional maritime coordination centre and its re-inauguration was part of the celebrations of the 47th anniversary of the navy, marked this Monday

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)