President highlights 'consistent foreign policy'

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 31-12-2019 12:00:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal’s president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, highlighted what he called the country’s "very consistent foreign policy", arguing that the country can play the role of a "bridge" between states and continents.

"We have a very consistent foreign policy,” de Sousa said. “It is very old, it is very coherent, goes beyond presidents … and prime ministers, and ministers of foreign affairs and governments and this is very good because our allies, our partners and our friends know what they can count on."

The president was speaking at the annual meeting of the Portuguese Diaspora Council, of which he is also honorary president, in a ceremony that took place in Cascais, near Lisbon.

"Allies know that they are allies and that there is no risk that we will trade them for partners, partners know that they will be partners and are not likely to be allies, and friends are friends and brothers are brothers, so fraternity on the basis of language or history culture and other ties exists, like our fraternity in terms of family," de Sousa said. “You can’t transform into brothers those who are a partner or an ally."

Speaking before an audience that a included Augusto Santos Silva, Portugal’s minister of foreign affairs, de Sousa argued that "in this world today it is very important to know what you can count on when you think of Portugal, and everyone knows what they can count on.”

"Our vocation is to be a platform between cultures, civilisations, continents and oceans" because Portugal is a member of multiple international organisations, which he said are " increasingly important" because much of the world is going the other way.

Multilateralism, he said, “is not fashionable” because of "crises in the political systems of various states" and the increasingly complexity of the world. This, he went on, "is not good because you cannot solve climate change, … you cannot solve terrorism, … you cannot solve the panorama of balance of powers on a global scale; is not good for international law, it is not good for international organisations … it is not good, but that is what it is."

Referring specifically to Africa, he said that "it is not a dead continent, it is a living and fundamental continent".

Speaking to reporters after the event, the president highlighted Portugal's role in building bridges around the world.

"We, in this world in which each pulls to his side and it is very difficult to have understandings about the environment, about climate, about refugees, about migration, on wars and peace, Portugal manages to have a role as a bridge, which is fundamental," he said. Portuguese officials, he went on, "who are influential all over the world, in addition to those who are influential inside, can help this bridge in Europe, America, Asia, in Africa, in Latin America."

In his speech the president had also stressed that "the political system Portuguese has shown superior resilience" than other European countries, but stressed the need to continue to take preventive action to head off populisms.

"There is no political system that is virtuous if there is a very large imbalance between the universes that make up this political system," he warned, pointing out that "political systems are made from alternatives".


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