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Friday, October 12, 2012
EQUATORIAL GUINEA NATIONAL DAY
Equatorial Guinea National Day
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
October 12, 2012
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Equatorial Guinea as you celebrate your independence day this October 12.
The United States is committed to promoting peace and prosperity for the people of Equatorial Guinea. We support efforts to achieve economic growth in a manner that is consistent with the values of democracy and good governance. And we remain committed to working together to meet the challenges of the future.
I wish all people of Equatorial Guinea peace and prosperity in the years to come.
ADDITIONAL MATERIAL FROM: U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT
U.S.-EQUATORIAL GUINEA RELATIONS
The United States established diplomatic relations with Equatorial Guinea in 1968, following the country's independence from Spain. Equatorial Guinea's President has held office for more than three decades, and his party dominates the legislature. Three major U.S. foreign policy issues form the cornerstone of the bilateral relationship with Equatorial Guinea -- good governance and democracy; the protection of human rights; and U.S. national security, especially access to energy resources. The United States seeks to encourage improved human rights, the development of a working civil society, greater fiscal transparency, and increased government investment in Equatorial Guinea's people in areas such as health and education.
U.S. Assistance to Equatorial Guinea
U.S. assistance to Equatorial Guinea has focused on introducing the country’s military and police forces to the principles of human rights, good governance, and democracy, and on improving regional maritime security. The U.S. Agency for International Development has several small regional projects, but does not have a presence within the country. The Ambassador's Self-Help Fund annually finances a number of small grassroots projects. Equatoguineans visit the U.S. under programs sponsored by the U.S. Government, U.S. oil companies, and educational institutions.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Equatorial Guinea's hydrocarbon riches dwarf all other economic activity; the country's oil reserves are located mainly in the Gulf of Guinea. U.S. oil companies are one of Equatorial Guinea’s largest investors, and they have a lead role in oil and gas exploration and extraction. Equatorial Guinea's exports to the U.S. are dominated by petroleum products. In an effort to attract increased U.S. investment, U.S. passport-holders are entitled to visa-free entry for short visits. Imports from the United States include machinery, iron and steel products, optic and medical instruments, and inorganic chemical and rare earth minerals.
Equatorial Guinea's Membership in International Organizations
Equatorial Guinea has used its oil wealth to expand its foreign presence, establishing diplomatic missions in other countries. Equatorial Guinea and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank. The country also is an observer to the Organization of American States and World Trade Organization.