Portugal promises to facilitate the granting of visas

Portugal promises to facilitate the granting of visas
Portugal promises to facilitate the granting of visas

Africa-Press – Angola. The Portuguese ambassador to Angola, Francisco Duarte, assured, Friday (21), in Luanda, that his country will work towards facilitating and speeding up even more the granting of visas.

The diplomat made this guarantee at the end of an audience granted to him by the President of the National Assembly, Carolina Cerqueira, during which they addressed, among other aspects, parliamentary cooperation and the process of economic diversification in the fifth Legislature.

Francisco Duarte admitted that he has heard complaints from companies that have to send workers to specific functions about the difficulties in granting visas. “We must make a mutual effort to improve this situation, and I am confident that it will happen, because we are working towards it”, he assured.

Regarding the mobility agreement in the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), the Portuguese ambassador defended that each country has to adopt legislation to implement this agreement. He maintained that there is a need to make bilateral agreements, because of the categories established under the CPLP mobility agreement.

Francisco Duarte said there are limitations in granting short-term visas, because “they are part of the Schengen cut”, as it is a question of shared sovereignty.

“This week, on the 19th, there was an important meeting in Portugal, on the implementation of the visa facilitation protocol, and now new steps will be taken, in terms of legislation and implementation of all these steps”, he said.

The Consulate General of Portugal in Luanda is the largest visa issuing center in the entire Portuguese diplomatic network, revealed the Portuguese ambassador.

Francisco Duarte said that a “sub-human effort” has been made by Consulate officials to respond to the many visa requests for Portugal, recognizing that there are aspects that need to be improved – and they are already being improved.

Proof of this, he underlined, were the various Portuguese entities that were in Angola and address these issues, having taken measures in terms of strengthening human and technological resources.

Support For Economic Diversification

Portugal’s contribution to the Angolan economic diversification process was also one of the issues addressed during the audience between the President of the National Assembly and the Portuguese ambassador.

Francisco Duarte stressed that Portuguese companies in Angola have a fundamental role, underlining the jobs generated.

“I have visited several Portuguese companies and I have seen the jobs created, quality jobs that imply the formation of human capital, of wealth in Angola”, he said.

For the diplomat, the creation of work and wealth is not just an economic issue, it is also a factor of people’s dignity and a necessary condition for the prosperity of any nation, as is the case of Angola.

The vast cooperation program between Portugal and Angola was also the subject of conversation between Carolina Cerqueira and Francisco Duarte.

The Portuguese ambassador said that cooperation between the two countries is very dense and covers many areas, from health institutions to justice, education, defense and others. “We, as agents of the State, have to live up to the ambition and demands of our people, in the sense of working to strengthen this fraternal relationship that unites us”, defended Francisco Duarte.

“It’s not long before we have an Angola without mines”

The Belgian ambassador to Angola, Jozef Smets, highlighted yesterday the support that his country has provided in the demining process in Angola and expressed his conviction that there is little time left for Angolans to have a mine-free country.

The Belgian diplomat made this statement to the press, after leaving an audience granted to him by the president of the National Assembly, Carolina Cerqueira.

According to Jozef Smets, Cuanza-Norte, Cuanza-Sul and Uíge are the provinces in which organizations specializing in demining work with financial support from Belgium, whose ambassador is pleased to see Angolan farming families returning to their lands to cultivate land after demining.

Immigration was also a topic during the audience that the leader of the Angolan Parliament granted to the Belgian ambassador. Jozef Smets informed that, from January to September of this year, 26 thousand people applied for asylum in Belgium, but none are Angolan citizens.

Asked about the economic relations between the two countries, the diplomat said that Belgium is among Angola’s biggest trading partners, specifically in the diamond and port sectors. “We want to develop contacts, respecting the wishes of the Angolan authorities. We have confidence in Angola, businesspeople in our country know Angola, many of them speak Portuguese and others even speak the national languages”, he underlined.

Jozef Smets highlighted the creation of a Belgian parliamentary commission to analyze the colonial past. The objective is to know what actually happened and what crimes were committed.

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