The two countries analysed the investment by the US Department of Defense, of more than 23 million dollars (around 20 million euros), in infrastructure and services at the Lajes Base throughout this year, the largest expenditure in this sector since 2006, according to a statement from the US embassy in Portugal.

“These investments support the local economy and demonstrate the US Department of Defense’s long-standing commitment to the Azores, to the bilateral defense relationship between the US and Portugal, and to transatlantic security”, it reads in the statement.

The two delegations also highlighted their determination to “deepen bilateral economic ties and investments in the areas of energy, climate, health and digital transitions”, according to the US embassy in Portugal.

On the other hand, both parties made clear their commitment to taking advantage of the opportunities of a sustainable blue economy supported by oceanic research and new technologies.

These objectives had already been reinforced by the visit of a joint commercial delegation of energy companies, led by the US ambassador to Portugal, Randi Charno Levine, who traveled to Washington and New York in October.

The two delegations also praised the “close collaboration between the US and Portuguese Armed Forces, which allows search and rescue missions to be carried out from the Lajes Base”, according to the embassy.

In this session of the bilateral commission, the two countries reiterated the strategic importance and historical relevance of the Azores for the bilateral relationship.

"The Azores holds a special place in our diplomatic ties, as they are home to the oldest continuously operating US consulate in the world," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Jacqueline Ramos, who led the North American delegation, accompanied by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Security Affairs, Tressa Guenov, and the US Ambassador to Portugal.