Santos Silva's statements were made at a joint press conference in Lisbon with his Angolan counterpart, Téte António, after the Portugal-Angola Intergovernmental Joint Commission meeting (CMI).
Portugal’s foreign minister, Augusto Santos Silva, said on Friday that Portugal and Angola are experiencing an “absolutely exceptional” moment in their bilateral relationship, highlighting cooperation in the area of health and the fight against the pandemic, particularly vaccination.
Santos Silva’s statements were made at a joint press conference in Lisbon with his Angolan counterpart, Téte António, after the Portugal-Angola Intergovernmental Joint Commission meeting (CMI).
Among the documents signed in recent years, Santos Silva noted the convention to avoid double taxation, the agreement to facilitate visas and cooperation in health and in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, which “today is the most relevant of the relevant areas.
“Our cooperation in the area of health is particularly noticeable in supporting vaccination. With the batch arriving in Luanda today we have exceeded 700,000 doses of vaccines donated to Angola,” he said.
Currently, Portugal has donated over 1.2 million vaccines to its essential cooperation partners, such as Portuguese-speaking African countries and East Timor and has increased its international donation target between this year and next year to 4 million, the minister said.
Santos Silva also thanked the Angolan authorities for the support given to operations to repatriate citizens of the two countries during the first wave of the pandemic when the area links were interrupted.
After an initial meeting in Luanda in December 2019, this was the second meeting of the CMI “a new instrument whose main objectives are to promote the development of the bilateral relationship, follow up on bilateral mechanisms signed and under negotiation and allow consultations on issues of common interest also at the international level, says the final communiqué of the meeting.
“All relevant areas of cooperation were assessed,” the Portuguese minister said.
The Angolan minister thanked Portugal for its support for the vaccination campaign in Angola.
In response to a question about fighting corruption in Angola, the minister said that “it cannot be done in one or two days,” and added that it was “a work in progress,” which is done “on several fronts, domestically, but also with international cooperation.
“It is a work in progress that will bear fruit,” the Angolan diplomatic chief said, without wanting to “go into details.
Santos Silva added that “as an observer,” he considered that “cooperation between the judicial authorities of Angola and Portugal,” in this area, “has been absolutely exemplary.
Asked about the “slowness” in granting visas at the Portuguese consulate in Luanda, the Portuguese minister said that the current obstacles to mobility were mainly due to the pandemic, but added that Portuguese consulates “should ensure that visas are indispensable so that Angolan citizens who need to travel to Portugal for health, study, professional, family or other relevant reasons can do so. This has now been absolutely clarified,” after “some doubts of interpretation that arose in the process.
The minister also noted that an “effort is being made to modernise” consular services, particularly in Portuguese-speaking African countries, to adapt to the demands “and challenges” of the agreement for mobility within the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP).
The next meeting of the CMI will be held in Angola in the first half of 2022.