It is for me a great honor to be the Ambassador of Portugal to the United States of America. Relations with the United States have been, since always, a priority for Portugal. The United States is our closest neighbor, on the other side of the Atlantic, as Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe.
Portugal was the first neutral country to recognize the Independence of the United States of America. We do not enjoy, however, simply a long-lasting relationship; we are allies. Portugal wants an ambitious transatlantic relationship and a strong bilateral relationship in all respects. As Ambassador, I hope to achieve these objectives through a diplomatic action, both at federal and state levels, aimed at promoting and reinforcing commercial ties, investment and tourism flows, as well as contacts in the cultural and scientific areas, and relations between the structures of civil society, including through the establishment of partnerships between academic and scientific institutions, and student exchanges.
My action owes a great deal to the contributions of the Portuguese-American community in the United States of America, the largest Portuguese diaspora in the world, and a powerful actor in the strengthening of the relations between Portugal and the United States at all levels and areas. The profile and growing influence of our community in the social, political, cultural and economic life in the United States shows an exemplary integration in this great nation and is a source of pride for all Portuguese. Simultaneously, the generous and committed way that the Portuguese inheritance is valued is a reflection of its irreplaceable affectionate connection to our country, for which I voice my gratitude and is my duty to nurture.
Domingos Fezas Vital