Defence minister starts five-day Angola trip to boost 'excellent' ties

in News · 14-05-2018 15:33:00 · 0 Comments
Defence minister starts five-day Angola trip to boost 'excellent' ties

Portugal's minister of national defence is today starting a five-day visit to Angola that is to include meetings with top government officials, trips to various military units and the signing of a new Framework Cooperation Programme between the two countries for the period 2018-2021.

The visit by José Azeredo Lopes is the first to Angola by any member of Portugal's government since a planned trip by the minister of justice was in January suspended at the request of the Angolan authorities.

Bilateral tensions have been running high for months, in part over the fact that a former vice president of Angola, Manuel Vicente had been being investigated in Portugal for suspected bribery of a public prosecutor and money laundering, as part of the wide-ranging Operation Fizz. Last Thursday Lisbon's appeal court ruled that the part of the case involving Vicente should be transferred to Angola to be dealt with by its courts, as the authorities there had long argued.

The trip by the defence minister had already been scheduled before last week's court decision.

On the first day of his visit, Azeredo Lopes is to meet privately with his Angolan counterpart, Salviano de Jesus Sequeira, before the 17th bilateral meeting on defence between the two countries.

On Tuesday morning Azeredo Lopes is to visit the Higher School of War, and in the afternoon the Naval Academy - both in Luanda.For Wednesday visits to three local projects part-funded by Portugal in Lobito is foreseen.

On Thursday the visitor is to travel to the base of Special Forces Brigade at Cabo Ledo, before signing the new framework agreement in the afternoon. On the last day of the visit, Friday, Azeredo Lopes is to visit the Naval Fusiliers School at Ambriz.

Last week Azeredeo Lopes told journalists that defence relations with Angola were “excellent” and the country an important partner.


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