24 March 2016

Mozambique: Tensions 'can Be Resolved Internally'

Maputo — The politico-military tensions in Mozambique, resulting from armed attacks by gunmen of the rebel movement Renamo, can be resolved internally, without the need for foreign intervention, declared the Portuguese Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Teresa Ribeiro, in Maputo on Wednesday.

Speaking at a press conference marking the end of a four day visit to Mozambique, Ribeiro said there was no shortage of mechanisms to overcome the climate of tension.

"We are watching closely what is happening , and we have the strong conviction that the mechanism to overcome the current difficulty will be found by the Mozambicans themselves", she added.

Ribeiro said that Portugal is satisfied with the current stage of Mozambican democracy. "We have seen that Mozambique now has a consolidated democracy, a mature democracy, and this pleases us greatly", she stressed.

She made a positive assessment of the cooperation between Portugal and Mozambique, particularly in economic matters. "We have a very strong presence in Mozambique", Ribeiro said. "Portugal is one of the most important investors in Mozambique. Portuguese investment positively benefits both countries, and is oriented towards small and medium enterprises. The statistics show that this makes Portugal one of the major creators of jobs in Mozambique".

Ribeiro added that during her visit she had also discussed preparation for the next Luso-Mozambican summit, scheduled for late 2016, and the design of a new strategic cooperation programme between the two countries.

"This would be the Third Bilateral Summit between Portugal and Mozambique", said Ribeiro. "We had productive meetings with the finance sector and we have already defined the essential matters on the agenda in questions of cooperation".

This summit, and the scheduled visit to Mozambique in May by newly elected Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, she added, are evident signs of the importance that the current Portuguese government gives to cooperation with Mozambique.

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