Thursday, February 3, 2011

President Obiang Begins Visit To U.S. with Focus On Faith and Dialogue

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea attended the National Prayer Breakfast this morning in Washington, D.C. on the second day of an unofficial visit to the United States.

Yesterday, he was hosted for lunch in the Capitol by the Chaplain of the United States Senate, Rev. Barry C. Black.

The National Prayer Breakfast has been held annually in Washington since 1953. It is part of a week-long series of meetings, luncheons, and dinners during which members of Congress meet privately with individuals and groups, both American and international, to discuss matters of mutual of interest.

President Obiang will meet with members of Congress and representatives of industry while in Washington.

President Obama addressed the 2011 breakfast, as the President of the United States traditionally does. Every U.S. President since Dwight D. Eisenhower has participated in the event.

Some 3,500 guests attended this year’s breakfast, including members of the U.S. Congress and Cabinet, the diplomatic corps, foreign leaders, and private citizens. Invitees attended from more than 100 countries.

Rev. Black, a retired rear admiral in the United States Navy, is the 62nd Chaplain of the United States Senate, which named its first chaplain in 1789. He served in the U.S. Navy for more than twenty-seven years, ending his distinguished career as the Chief of Navy Chaplains.