Van Dunem: visit to Angola "exceeded everything I could expect"

Francisca Van Dunem

The Portuguese justice minister considered, in Luanda, that the three-day working visit to Angola "exceeded" the best expectations

For Francisca Van Dunem, the visit brought concrete results in cooperation and deepened political relations. "It exceeded my expectations. I had good expectations regarding this visit, but I must say that I am reassured, especially with the idea that the visit exceeded everything I could think of, not only in terms of emotional proximity, but also in terms of operational results, work, procedure, cooperation activities between the two countries. It was a very big deepening," stressed Francisca Van Dunem.

In a balance for journalists, the Portuguese ruler stated that the essential of the visit had to do with the need to realize the actions that are foreseen in protocols.

"We went to the province of Benguela, to the city of Lobito, where the new system is already functioning - we were in both [Lobito and Benguela] - in which there are similarities and hence the need to exchange experiences," she added.

In the field of the Angolan Ministry of Interior that, unlike Portugal, has under guardianship the prison system and the social reintegration of detainees, the bilateral relationship was also "strengthened," and there are plans for cooperation actions in both areas.

Francisca Van Dunem also had a last meeting at the end of the afternoon, in Luanda, the capital of the country, with her Angolan counterpart, Francisco Queirós, in which the possibility of a technical meeting in Lisbon, at the level of Secretaries of State, to continue the work, was over the table.

"From the point of view of cooperation between the two countries, the visit was deeply fruitful. This approach has also shown that the Angolan authorities have a strong commitment to cooperation with Portugal, a country which has expressed total availability in any matter Angola deems the cooperation useful," he said.

Asked about the political balance that can be made of the visit to Angola, Francisca Van Dunem considered it "relevant."

"The visit was politically relevant, as we realized that it was not only the Justice and Interior ministers that were involved, but there was also a meeting with the President of Angola [João Lourenço], who honored us and that gives another dimension to this visit," she said.

This is the first visit that Francisca Van Dunem made to Angola after overcoming the "irritant circumstances" in the Luso-Angolan relations, related to the attempt to judge in Portugal the former vice-president of Angola Manuel Vicente, reason why the Portuguese minister postponed, in February, 2017, this visit.