Uganda: Mozambique and Uganda Sign Cooperation Agreement

Maputo — The Mozambican and Ugandan governments signed in Maputo on Thursday a general cooperation agreement and a memorandum of understanding on political and diplomatic consultations between the two countries.

The signing followed discussions between delegations headed by President Filipe Nyusi and his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, who is on a three day state visit to Mozambique. The Mozambican and Ugandan Foreign Ministers, Jose Pacheco and Sam Kutesa, signed the documents.

At the ensuing joint press conference, Pacheco said the cooperation agreement "regulates the bilateral joint commission between Mozambique and Uganda".

"We identified five areas of bilateral cooperation - politics, diplomacy, defence and security, agriculture, industry and trade, and tourism", said Pacheco. He added that, during the meeting, an interest was expressed in cooperating in the area of mineral resources.

"Coal is a product that can immediately enter the trade between the two countries", he added. Uganda needs coking coal for its iron and steel industry, and Mozambican can supply it.

Pacheco said the two countries are designing mechanisms for developing partnerships and joint enterprises for exploiting hydrocarbons.

"There is clearly mutual will, and economic diplomacy will be prioritised, through trade and partnerships between companies of the two countries, for the development of advantageous businesses"', he said.

Kutesa said "our relations are historic and strong, but we have not exploited them sufficiently to guarantee the prosperity of our peoples".

Later in the day, Museveni received the keys of the city from the Mayor of Maputo, David Simango, who praised the Ugandan leader as "a tireless fighter for human dignity".

Museveni has longstanding ties with Mozambique, and with the ruling Frelimo Party, dating back to his days as a guerrilla leader fighting against the Idi Amin dictatorship.

With 28 other Ugandan students, Museveni slipped quietly into Mozambique in 1977, just two years after the country's independence, and attended politico-military training courses at a Mozambican army barracks in Montepuez, in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

Museveni headed one of the Ugandan rebel units which fought alongside Tanzanian and Mozambican troops to overthrow Amin in 1979.

Museveni is scheduled to revisit Montepuez on Saturday.

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