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    Posted May 24, 2014 by
    Friends2013
    Location
    Washington D.C, District of Columbia

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    BENIN: A DEMOCRATIC LEADER IN AFRICA ACCORDING TO THE PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

     
    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S REPLY TO THE REMARKS OF THE NEWLY APPOINTED AMBASSADOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF BENIN OMAR AROUNA UPON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESENTATION OF HIS LETTER OF CREDENCE
    Mr. Ambassador, It is with great pleasure that I accept your Letter of Credence, which establishes you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Benin, and I acknowledge receipt of the Letter of Recall of your predecessor, Ambassador Cyrille Oguin, who was exceptional in representing Benin in the United States.
    I would like to extend a warm welcome to you and your family and I look forward to working closely with you to deepen the already close relations between our countries.
    Bilateral relations have been excellent since 1990 when Benin convened a National Conference to become the first African country to peacefully, inclusively, and consultatively transition from dictatorship to true multiparty democracy, setting off a historic wave of democratic liberalization throughout Africa. Since then, Benin's leaders have consistently upheld the underpinnings of democratic transition, respecting term limits and encouraging competitive elections. This is one of the many ways in which Benin stands as a leader in Africa for democratic principles.
    Our shared commitment to democracy, free - market economics, good governance, human rights, tolerant pluralistic society, and regional peace and stability forms the foundation of this excellent relationship, and creates many opportunities for robust cooperation including on health, education, human rights, gender equality, peacekeeping, military capacity-building, justice sector strengthening, and fighting corruption and transnational crime.
    Benin's commitments to democracy, good governance, and economic liberalization underpinned its eligibility for and successful completion of a $307 million Millennium Challenge Account compact that ended in 2011 and for its eligibility to develop a second compact proposal in 2012, which in turn builds a stronger foundation for Benin's economic development and U.S.- Beninese commercial engagement.
    We greatly value our friendship with the Government of Benin and its role as a democratic leader and engaged partner in advancing peace and stability in West Africa. Benin has been a model for its neighbors and the region. We appreciate Benin's engagement to bring about democracy and peace in the Central African Republic, Mali, and Guinea-Bissau. Benin has exceptional peacekeeping troops creating stability around the world including in Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, South Sudan,
    Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Haiti
    Today, we continue to collaborate to address the transnational challenges facing West Africa. We cooperate to build effective governance, address food insecurity, combat narcotics trafficking, and create maritime security for the entire coast. These shared endeavors demonstrate the depth of our partnership and support for Benin as an important player in the region.
    Mr. Ambassador, I look forward to working with you to advance our common agenda and deepen the strong and abiding friendship of our countries.' It is a pleasure to welcome you back to Washington.
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