LIBREVILLE, Gabon (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus met with Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba during an official visit to the nation's capital April 5.
During the meeting, Mabus and Bongo Ondimba discussed maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and other areas of mutual concern such as piracy, transnational crime and regional security.
"Border and maritime security and the fight against illicit trafficking affect both our nations," said Mabus. "We look forward to continuing our partnership with Gabon in addressing these security issues."
The two leaders also discussed progress on Gabon's Maritime Strategic Framework, which was generated as the result of a maritime assessment and strategy developed by the U.S. Navy for Gabon following a mutual agreement between Mabus and Bongo Ondimba in August 2013. The assessment provided recommendations for the achievement of maritime security for the people and interests of Gabon.
Mabus presented the Department of the Navy's "Gabon Maritime Assessment and Strategy" to Bongo Ondimba during a visit to the Pentagon by the Gabonese president in 2014.
During his time in Gabon, Mabus also met with other Gabonese government and military officials to discuss, among other issues, the Central African nation's partnership with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
"Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea is important to both our nations," said Mabus. "The Department of the Navy values the partnership we have with Gabon and their participation in exercises like Obangame Express and Central Accord. The interoperability developed through exercises such as these enhances our ability to work to together to maintain security and stability in this region."
Mabus' visit, part of a multinational tour meant to reinforce existing relationships and highlight the importance of maritime domain awareness with African countries, represents a continuation of the Department of the Navy's focus on building partnerships designed to help distribute the burden of securing the global maritime domain based on alliances, shared values and mutual trust.
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