Angola Tells Off Portugal In A Diplomatic Spat
Angola's president has said ties with former colonial
ruler Portugal are "not well", amid tensions over
Lisbon's investigation of Luanda officials.
Mr Jose Eduardo Dos Santos said "the current
political climate" was not conducive to building a
He said that Western nations fed the perception that
"a rich African man is corrupt".
Portugal's Government has expressed "surprise" at
It said it had been working hard to foster relations,
citing what it said were the "special ties that unite
the two peoples" and the strategic importance of
good relations for both sides.
Last week, Portugal's Foreign minister Rui Machete
was called before a parliamentary committee in
Lisbon after he expressed regret in an interview in
Angola about a corruption probe by Portuguese
prosecutors that was said to involve top Angolan
Some in Portugal saw his comments as kowtowing to
Angola's growing power while infringing judicial
Portuguese opposition parties called for Mr Machete
Angola's state-run Jornal de Angola newspaper then
published a scathing editorial dismissing Portugal's
elite as ignorant and corrupt.
Even so, observers in Lisbon were taken aback by
President dos Santos's decision to join in the
criticism, our reporter says.
The Angolan officials being investigated in Portugal
have not been named.
But Angola's minister for External Relations, Georges
Chicotty, denied that President Dos Santos'
comments were directly linked to the legal probes in
"We don't intervene in any Portuguese political
issues," he told BBC Focus on Africa programme.
However, Mr Chicotty added: "We have right now
250,000 Portuguese living in Angola, doing
businesses. And none of them has ever been
prosecuted or investigated whatsoever. I think that's
the balance that you need."
Analysts say that President Dos Santos' comments
show that Luanda now feels strong enough to stand
up to its former colonial master.
Angola and Portugal are major trading partners, with
many investors from oil-rich Angola buying stakes in
Angola's economy is continuing to grow, although
more slowly than predicted this year.
Meanwhile, debt-ridden Portugal has been hit hard
by the continuing eurozone financial crisis. The
government has been trying to introduce a wide
range of reforms after agreeing a multibillion bailout.
In 2011, Angola offered Lisbon its help to cope with
Despite its growing economy and the huge wealth of
a tiny elite, most Angolans live on about $2 a day