Mozambique: Growth in Australia-Mozambique Relations

Maputo — The Australian High Commissioner accredited to Mozambique, Ann Harrap, declared on Thursday that the political and cooperation ties between Mozambique and Australia have undergone considerable growth over the last four years.

"There has been a considerable improvement in our relations at political level", she told reporters after an audience with President Armando Guebuza, which marked the end of her four year term of office.

The high point in the relationship, she said, was Guebuza's visit to Australia last year to participate in the summit of Commonwealth Heads of State and Government. She added that Guebuza has been invited to make a state visit to Australia next year.

Further developments included the accreditation of an Australian honorary consul in Maputo (Harrap herself is resident in Pretoria). For its part, Mozambique has appointed two honorary consuls in Australia.

During the meeting, Harrap said, she and Guebuza dealt with matters such as trade, agriculture and mining. Several Australian companies are involved in mining and mineral exploration in Mozambique.

"We also spoke about our development cooperation", she added. "Australia has been working with Mozambique in areas such as sanitation, and the training of human resources, which includes offering a large number of scholarships to Mozambican students".

Asked about the possibility of Australia opening a diplomatic mission in Maputo, Harrap said "we already have an honorary consul in Mozambique, and we are studying how to step up our commercial and political relations.

I believe that later we shall consider the possibility of opening an embassy in Mozambique".

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