By Associated Press - Thursday, February 27, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota National Guard has partnered with two African countries as part of a federal program that fosters security cooperation between other nations and the United States.

The Guard on Thursday announced it has established a working agreement with the Togolese Republic and the Republic of Benin. The Guard in January commemorated the 10th anniversary of its partnership with Ghana.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple says the Guard is proud to play a key role in securing America’s defense efforts around the world.

Officials say the Guard’s humanitarian assistance and disaster relief programs and its defense support to civil authorities will help meet the needs of Togo, Benin and the U.S. Department of Defense in Africa.

The commander of U.S. Africa Command signed into effect the new partnerships in Stuttgart, Germany.

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