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Angola questions Portugal partnership

16 October 2013, 09:02

Lisbon - Angola on Tuesday questioned plans to establish a "strategic partnership" with former colonial power Portugal, saying the "political climate" did not favour them, the Portuguese news agency Lusa and the broadcaster RTP reported.

"With Portugal, things are not well," Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos told parliament in Luanda.

The president said "misunderstandings" had emerged "on the top level," and that the "current political climate ... does not favour the construction of the strategic partnership announced earlier."

He did not say whether Angola maintained plans to hold its first bilateral summit with Portugal in 2014.

Portuguese reports linked dos Santos' statements to legal probes in Portugal into alleged tax fraud and money-laundering in business deals involving senior Angolan officials.

Portuguese Foreign Minister Rui Machete earlier downplayed the importance of the probes, saying some of them could be based on "misunderstandings".

Portugal's deep economic crisis has intensified its business relations with Angola, one of Sub-Saharan Africa's largest economies.

Tens of thousands of Portuguese have emigrated to Angola, while Angolans have invested in Portuguese banks and energy firms.



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