The United States established diplomatic relations with Lesotho in 1966, following its independence from the United Kingdom. Post-independence, the country saw a mix of rule by decree, coups, outside military intervention, and democratic government. Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy that faces challenges including poverty, income distribution inequality, and one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the world. Since independence, Lesotho and the United States have had productive bilateral relations. U.S. foreign policy priorities in Lesotho focus on achieving the development of a stable, prosperous, and healthy country.