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World Briefing / Angola

Clinton pledges to boost trade ties

August 10, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, bringing her democracy and development tour of Africa to oil-rich Angola, encouraged the war-ravaged country to continue reforms and pledged to boost trade ties with the major energy producer.

Clinton, on the third leg of a seven-nation trip, came to Luanda, the Angolan capital, to reinforce America's presence in a country where it is increasingly competing for resources with China. Beijing has given Angola billions of dollars in loans in recent years without pressing for reforms.

After meeting Foreign Minister Assuncao Afonso dos Anjos, Clinton urged the government to build on successful legislative elections held in 2008 -- the first in 16 years -- through presidential elections and dealing with the legacy of its 27-year civil war.

"We look forward to Angola building on this positive step, including the adoption of a new constitution, investigating and prosecuting past human rights abuses and holding a timely, free and fair presidential election," she said at a news conference with Dos Anjos. "So, Mr. Minister, we have our work cut out for us."

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