Cabo Verde: Possible new embassies, ambassadors with special portfolios
Cabo Verde’s government will study the idea of opening more embassies in strategic areas for the archipelago, establishing ambassadors for certain topics and intends to extend the jurisdiction of current diplomatic missions
“It is an exercise to see to what extent we can optimise the effectiveness of diplomatic missions and future ones, depending on the interest and vision that we have with foreign policy, in the sense of opening other embassies on different continents,” Cabo Verde’s secretary of state for foreign affairs and cooperation, Miryan Vieira, explained on Tuesday.
“Our analysis is the diagnosis of what we already have, and from there, we can envisage opening or not other embassies. But in the short term, what we are going to do is extend the jurisdiction of current embassies to optimise their activities with other countries with which Cabo Verde intends to have strategic partnerships,” she told journalists at the end of the meeting, which was chaired by the minister of foreign affairs, cooperation and regional integration, Rui Figueiredo Soares.
Cabo Verde currently has 21 diplomatic representations and consular posts, of which 16 are embassies on different continents, two permanent missions and three career consulates or consulates-general.
According to Soares, the “proposal to resize the diplomatic and consular network” under study also provides for the appointment of ambassadors for certain topics: “such as climate change, oceans, the digital economy and other issues that may prove relevant.
For now, she explained, the first step in this process involves, based on current structures, “looking at how to extend the jurisdiction of those diplomatic missions in other countries,” and only then “eventually opening other diplomatic missions.
According to Vieira, Cape Verde “will soon open” a diplomatic mission in Rabat. This decision is based on the “prospect of studying and deepening economic and business relations” with Morocco.
“We are not thinking, in the short term, of closing embassies, but this first exercise is to have a perspective for extending the jurisdiction of the coverage of the current embassies that we have and to consider, also according to the priority to be defined by the government, the opening or reopening of other embassies,” he said.
According to the secretary of state, the ongoing “exercise” is to evaluate the current diplomatic network, but the “budget factor is something to be taken into account” also, particularly given the economic crisis still affecting the country.
“What we are doing in that exercise, especially the proposals that will come out is the balance between budgetary availability and the interests of the country. Because to have active diplomacy, we must also have instruments for implementing diplomacy. This involves the embassies and diplomatic missions that Cabo Verde has abroad,” he said.
“But all these are issues that will be duly considered, and any decision that will be taken will be in consultation with the ministry of finance, the ministry of foreign affairs and other government departments,” the secretary of state added.
In this process, the country’s diplomacy also plans to “extend honorary consulates”, particularly in areas currently without diplomatic representation.