ySpeaking at the Presidential Palace in Luanda, after a meeting with Angolan President Joao Lourenço, João Gómez Cravenho stressed to reporters the “strong will and commitment” to the continuous improvement of the relationship between the two countries, which is “excellent in all” and “allows you to have a higher level of ambition.”
The talk focused on the promotion of investment and economic activity by Portuguese companies in Angola, whether in traditional areas, such as construction, or in other areas such as tourism, energy and agriculture, “where Angola has huge potential,” he explained.
The head of Portuguese diplomacy said that the current framework, in which countries are trying to recover from the pandemic and are also facing an economic crisis resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, advises “every effort to intensify the relationship”
This relationship is also favored by the fact that, in recent years, it has been possible to overcome some problems such as the repayment of debts owed by the Angolan state to Portuguese companies.
“Most of them have already been paid,” he said.
Joao Gomes Cravinho also praised the “intense efforts” of the Angolan government to improve the country’s economic conditions, which were recognized by international rating agencies and the International Monetary Fund.
He stressed that “this creates a good working environment and there are favorable conditions for this intensification.”
Minister Joao Lourenço delivered a letter from Prime Minister Antonio Costa in which he affirmed his commitment to this relationship, without going into further details.
Another topic touched upon is the granting of visas, with João Gomes Cravinho expressing Portugal’s desire to improve in this area.
“The situation is already improving since the signing of the visa facilitation protocol, and the numbers show that there is more flexibility, but, of course, there are improvements that need to be made and one of the goals of my visit is to identify issues related to the granting of visas and identifying solutions are among the things that must be improved in order for the economic relationship to be productive.” As much as possible.
With regard to the issue of elections in Angola scheduled for August, the diplomat explained that the issue had not been addressed.
“Elections are a fact of democratic life in countries, we have had elections recently as well, but that was not a problem. We know that whatever happens with the elections, (it will not affect) the relationship between Portugal and Angola (which) is about mutual deep knowledge and intense interaction between our peoples.”
The head of Portuguese diplomacy and the head of the Angolan executive also exchanged views on the situation caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which he considered “extremely worrying.”
“We shared our views and the way we look at this conflict,” Gomez Cravinho said, stressing that each country is “sovereign” and each has its own views, when asked about the different position of Angola and Portugal on the situation.
He noted, however, that there is “a great convergence on the absolute need, in the shortest possible time, to find solutions that lead to a cessation of hostilities.”
Angola again last week abstained from voting on a UN resolution that suspended Russia from the Human Rights Council.
Among the Portuguese-speaking countries, only Portugal and Timor-Leste voted for them and the votes of Sao Tome and Principe and Equatorial Guinea were not recorded, according to the voting results presented at the General Assembly.
Most of the countries that voted against or abstained from voting argued that the resolution was politically biased and that “human rights should not be politicized”.
Read also: Foreign Affairs. The Minister starts today a two-day visit to Angola
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