The Spanish monarch, who started his official visit to Angola accompanied by Queen Letizia, the first to an African country, highlighted the hospitality and affection with which he has been received by Angolans and thanked the recognition of the decoration that was bestowed on him, considering it a " great honor" to join the Order of Agostinho Neto, which also symbolically and permanently brought him closer to the country.
Felipe VI pointed out that this visit follows the path started a year and a half ago, and which they have traveled together, in a perspective of "collaboration, friendship and understanding".
Highlighting the importance that Spain attaches to relations between the two countries, he was "very happy" at the reunion with João Lourenço, with whom he was in Madrid, this time in Luanda, "the political, economic and structural engine of the country".
The monarch stressed that Spain projects itself in multiple external dimensions and that, in addition to its European, Ibero-American and Atlantic identity, it also has an African vocation.
"It is indisputable that we are united by geography, but our African vocation goes further", underlined Felipe VI, adding that, in recent years, the Spanish Government has "worked to better understand the reality of the continent", in particular sub-Saharan Africa , resulting in programs to increase presence and cooperation with African countries and establish strategic partnerships that allow us to jointly address global challenges.
"In this objective, we need partners with capacity, will and credibility, so that, based on mutual trust, Spain can be more present in the region to the benefit of all", he said.
In this context, Angola "is a priority country for Spain", he continued, highlighting political and social stability, resources and good economic prospects and active diplomacy at regional and multilateral level, as well as the ties that bind the two countries for almost 50 years. years after Independence.
The king stressed that he aspires to see Spain as a reference for Angola in Europe and wants Angola to be a reference for Spain in this part of the world, which is the reason for this first trip to sub-Saharan Africa.
The monarch spoke about challenges at the regional and international levels that they must "face together", in particular the climate crisis and its effects, highlighting Angola's concern with this matter, but also the admirable process of national reconciliation in the country, "after so many years of suffering".
Felipe VI welcomed the role of João Lourenço in the pacification of the Great Lakes region in order to achieve peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of Congo, pointing to the Government of Luanda as a factor of stability, both in the Central African region and in southern Africa.
The Spanish king also stressed that the state of bilateral relations "is excellent", stating that there is room for improvement in the economic field, so governments should encourage economic cooperation with increased trade and business presence.
In this context, he highlighted the relevance of the direct Angola-Madrid air connection which is being consolidated and is an attraction for Spanish companies.
Felipe VI also added that, in the second half, when Spain assumes the rotating presidency of the European Union, it will choose, among its priorities, the strengthening of relations with African countries and contribute to the realization of the strategic framework of the African Union for the economic transformation of the continent, as well as working towards the convening of a high-level meeting on transformative investments in Africa.
Among the elements that favor the relationship between Angola and Spain, he also pointed out the advantage that the Portuguese and Spanish languages offer in terms of mutual understanding, which is why their study should be supported and encouraged, said the Spanish king, showing himself convinced of a "promising future " for both countries.
At the end of his speech, Felipe VI also alluded to the earthquake in Turkey, conveying deep regret for the enormous human and material tragedy and offering solidarity and help to the Spanish people.