"There are several ministers who plan to travel to Luanda in the near future: the Ministers of Finance, Internal Administration, National Defense and Economy and Innovation, all in the next couple of months, in view of the visit to Angola by the Prime Minister, António Costa, if possible this semester", said João Gomes Cravinho, at the end of a meeting with his Angolan counterpart, this Monday at Palácio das Necessidades, headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MNE), in Lisbon.
"To properly prepare this visit, we have an intergovernmental joint commission to review the set of matters and properly prepare the prime minister's visit to Angola", added Gomes Cravinho at the press conference he held together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs [Mirex], Téte António.
Questioned by journalists, Gomes Cravinho added that this commission, foreseen in the bilateral agreements to prepare the visit of government officials from both countries, "brings together a wide range of representatives from different ministries, will be coordinated by the MNE and Mirex and will be an opportunity for meetings in a framework in which the different sectors are represented and in which this work will flow into a set of agreements that may be signed and into the strategic cooperation program 2023-2027".
At the press conference, the Angolan minister highlighted the "excellent relations" between the two countries and stressed the desire to maintain the economic aspect in the relationship between the countries of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), which was the theme of the Angolan presidency of the organisation, which will transfer the portfolio to São Tomé and Príncipe in the summer.
On the issuance of visas in Luanda for Portugal, Gomes Cravinho admitted that there have been more difficulties due to the growing number of requests, but stressed that the overwhelming majority of visa requests are answered positively.
"We have a situation in which we have registered, in recent months, a significant increase in demand, and as there is an increase in demand, there is a feeling of difficulty, but the rejection rate is small, around 3 percent, which means that the the vast majority of visas are granted, but people feel that the procedure takes too long", said the minister.
Thus, he added, the Government decided to reinforce "more human resources for the general consulate in Angola, and the company VFS, which does the initial screening of documentation, and which today inaugurates new facilities [in Luanda], will have its capacity reinforced", concluded the ruler.