The Portuguese President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, arrives this afternoon to Luanda for a four-day state visit to Angola that officially begins on Wednesday and extends to the provinces of Benguela and Huíla.
The Portuguese head of state, who has made stops in Cape Verde and São Tomé and Príncipe, arrives in the Angolan capital today to be present on the anniversary of the Angolan President, João Lourenço, who turns 65.
The program of his state visit begins on Wednesday morning with the laying of a wreath at the Agostinho Neto Memorial and a meeting with João Lourenço at the Presidential Palace, where ministerial talks will also be held, followed by a joint press conference.
On top of the table will certainly be the issue of regularizing Angola’s debts to Portuguese companies, which saw progress during Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa’s visit to Angola in September last year and João Lourenço’s visit to Portugal, in November.
In the afternoon, the Portuguese President addresses a solemn session at the National Assembly and meets with students at Agostinho Neto University, where he taught law. In the evening, there is an official dinner offered by the Angolan head of State and Government.
On behalf of the Government, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is accompanied by Foreign Affairs Ministers, Augusto Santos Silva, Deputy and Minister of Economy, Pedro Siza Vieira, and Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development, Luís Capoulas Santos, as well as by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Teresa Ribeiro.
Three parliamentary leaders, Fernando Negrão, PSD, Nuno Magalhães, CDS-PP, and João Oliveira, of the PCP, are part of his official delegation on this visit.
The parliamentary delegation also includes the deputy chairman of PS Lara Martinho and MP Maria Manuel Rola of BE, the party that accompanies for the first time an official visit to Angola.
Between Thursday and Friday, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa travels to Lubango, Huíla, and Benguela, Lobito and Catumbela – travelling by train between the two last municipalities – in the province of Benguela, extending their political contacts to the governor’s regions.
The Portuguese head of state visits Angola three months after receiving the Angolan President, João Lourenço, who took office in September 2017, in Portugal, also on a state visit, starting a new political cycle after 38 years with José Eduardo dos Santos in power.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was in Angola at this inauguration ceremony, in which João Lourenço left Portugal outside the list of main partner countries mentioned in his speech.
This State visit, considered one of the most important of his term, ends precisely on March 9, in Luanda, where he will bid farewell to the Angolan President, João Lourenço, and will meet with members of the Portuguese and Portuguese community.
The passing of this anniversary on Angolan soil is not accidental, the President told : “It was an intentional option of mine and it was possible to combine the program.”
This is the 13th state visit of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who since taking office on March 9, 2016, has already gone abroad more than half a hundred times and has been in 32 different countries.