João Lourenço spends $15 million to meet Joe Biden

Le président angolais João Lourenço (à gauche) et le président américain Joe Biden se serrent la main dans le bureau ovale de la Maison Blanche, Washington, le 30 novembre 2023.

Angolan President João Lourenço met US President Joe Biden on 30 November to commemorate three decades of diplomatic relations between the United States and Angola, but the meeting was described as a “milestone” for a lobbying firm in the US capital, according to the Político portal.

According to Politico, since 2019 the Angolan government has paid more than 15 million dollars to the US firm Squire Patton Boggs in order to reward “its efforts”, according to documents filed by the DOJ.

The data relating to the sum in question was gathered from the archives of the Department of Justice, where all companies or individuals working for a foreign state are obliged to register and provide details of their remuneration.

During Lourenço’s first trip to Washington as president in 2021, Squire helped arrange meetings with then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi , and members of the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committees, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan , and the US Chamber of Commerce .” said one of the organisation’s directors, Robert Kapla .

“We weren’t hired in 2019 to get this meeting,” Kapla said. Angola has “really not had a meaningful relationship with the United States. And they want one. And the US is looking for partners in this part of the world, and they have a very open and willing counterpart in President Lourenço.” Adds the portal.

Kapla announced that his company’s main priority would now be to attract additional investment. He also stressed that those wishing to invest in Africa would probably prefer countries with close relations with the United States at a high level.