João Lourenço tried to convince José Eduardo dos Santos not to travel TAP

The former president decided to travel to Spain, via Lisbon, on a TAP flight, rather than on the Angolan flag carrier TAAG, which "runs counter to protocol."

In a statement, the Angolan President's Civil Office says that José Eduardo dos Santos' "surprising decision" to travel on a TAP commercial flight "rather than on the flag carrier TAAG" runs counter to protocol, adding that João Lourenço himself has visited the former Angolan president in Luanda today to change his mind.

"As soon as the government was informed of the intention of the former president to reject the contracted aircraft, all dialogue and persuasion channels were activated in order to make relevant norms and protocol principles prevail, yet such efforts did not lead to a solution," the statement adds.

"Not even after President João Lourenço visited the former president today, at 5 pm, in the latter's residence in Miramar."

José Eduardo dos Santos, who served as Angola's President between 1979 and 2017, will travel on Tuesday morning to Spain for "routine medical examinations" and maintained the decision to fly on the Portuguese carrier TAP.

"In the meantime, and in strict compliance with the regulations that lay out the rights and privileges of former Angolan presidents, the government has secured all logistical and financial aspects involving the medical care to which former President José Eduardo dos Santos will be submitted in Spain," the statement reads.

"The government deeply regrets this attitude, the consequences of which are not its responsibility," it concludes.

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