Angola’s Dos Santos says relations with Portugal “not well”

15 Oct

LUANDA (Reuters) – Angola‘s President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos said on Tuesday his country’s relationship with Portugal, its former colonial ruler and one of its main trading partners, was “not well” and not conducive to the creation of a planned strategic partnership.

Portugal is Angola’s main source of imports and Portuguese companies play a large role in banking and construction in the African country, while Angolan investors have snapped up large stakes in top Lisbon-listed companies.

“Only with Portugal, regrettably, are things not well,” Dos Santos told parliament.

“There have appeared contradictions at the level of the leadership and the current political climate in the relationship does not advise the construction of the strategic partnership,” Dos Santos said.

Tensions became apparent last month after Portugal’s foreign minister apologised for legal probes by Lisbon into business deals involving senior Angolan officials. Portuguese opposition parties have called for the minister to resign.

Dos Santos also said his government had cut its economic growth estimate for 2013 to 5.1 percent from 7.1 percent due to a long drought, lower-than-expected growth in the oil sector, “bad management” of public debt and a weak global economy.

Angola is Africa’s second-largest oil producer after Nigeria. Its economy grew 7.4 percent in 2012.

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