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Angola is "in the final stage" of ratification of the Mobility Agreement in the CPLP

The Angolan ambassador to the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) said that the country "is in the final stage" of ratifying the Mobility Agreement, negotiated by the Cape Verdean presidency and approved at the Luanda summit.

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"Regarding the Mobility Agreement, which we inherited from Cape Verde, and which was approved in Luanda, the internal processes of each Member State to ratify it are now underway", stated diplomat Francisco Oliveira Encoge.

Angola, which since the summit in Luanda, held last July, "is in the final stage" of this process, he said.

According to the ambassador, "the work is well advanced". But he stressed that he cannot say "whether or not he has already entered the National Assembly". "Our presidency makes us run," he commented.

In its current form, he considered, the Mobility Agreement "also makes room" for the economic pillar of the Portuguese-speaking organization. "Mobility moves people and goods and that's the component of economic cooperation. So things fit together. That's the intention," he pointed out, at a time when a third member state, Portugal, last week ratified the agreement.

As Cape Verde and São Tomé and Príncipe had already ratified the agreement, the requirement for ratification by three Member States for the agreement to enter into force is fulfilled. "With its entry into force, from a practical point of view", the Mobility Agreement "has a soul and a body", stated Oliveira Encoge.

But the diplomat highlighted that this is based on a principle of variable geometry. "This is what must be explained, because the Mobility Agreement itself does not give rise to the granting of direct visas, the mobility agreement opens doors for the States to find ways out among themselves. This is the big question. And that's what it will do. happen, and what is already happening", he stressed.

"There are things that happen in our relationship between Member States that often go beyond the organization, because it is our populations that demand things from us", he stressed.

The diplomat gave the example of Angola and Portugal, which have "been talking in depth" about migration issues. "Because there are great concerns, both on the Portuguese and on the Angolan side, and our objective is to reach the population, those who really need this service that we must provide", he pointed out.

"Angola and Portugal, in the specific case, are trying to find ways for the granting of visas, in certain segments, to be quick, such as, for example, the health visa, the student visa, the visa for businessmen. Thing this one that has already been discussed in the past", he added. However, now there is a "hat deal".

According to the ambassador, "Portugal has already presented which are the points of view, which are the paths". But Schengen visas "are a headache," he added. "We are going for the national visa. It is another modality, but it is necessary that this actually be practiced", he stressed.

From a political point of view, he guaranteed that "there is this favorable manifestation from both sides, Angola and Portugal", to continue, because "the pressure is very great and it reaches our house. It is too serious and heavy".

As for the ratification of the agreement by other member states of the organization, he guaranteed: "I witness the interest of everyone. The internal processes, sometimes, are a little slow. (...) The signs that I can identify are very support for everything to happen as soon as possible" in terms of ratification.

Regarding the execution of the new program for the integration of Equatorial Guinea into the CPLP, the last Member State to join the organization, in 2014, the representative of the presidency assured that the plan is ongoing and has no funding problems, which will be supported by the organization's special fund.

"This program is underway. There is no problem. (...). What is happening is that (...) there is a need to move teams, which are already established, which already have the logistics segment prepared to reach Malabo [capital of Equatorial Guinea] or Bata [second largest city in the country], but they cannot travel due to pandemic restrictions," he explained.

As for the future presidency of the CPLP, when asked about the matter, the diplomat said that the President of the Republic of Angola, "as president of the organization, [after the conclusion of the electoral process in São Tomé and Príncipe] made it reach everyone to all heads of state present at the Luanda conference, a letter indicating the availability of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe to assume the next presidency".

"The process of the next presidency is concluded", he added.

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