Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva received the President of Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos, yesterday, in the Planalto Palace. After the meeting, the two countries signed six cooperation agreements.
The accords between Brazil and Angola are in the areas of geology and mining, public administration, sanitation, penal matters, the transfer of convicted criminals, and an extradition treaty.
Lula and dos Santos also discussed bilateral trade. The trade balance has been favorable to Brazil. Last year Brazil exported US$ 357 million to Angola and imported US$ 3.5 million, according to the Ministry of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade.
In the first three months of 2005, Brazil’s exports to that country amounted to US$ 88 million, while no imports were registered.
The President of Angola expressed support for the foreign policy of the Brazilian government, so that the country will assume “a more active and incisive role in the interplay of world forces.” He also said that he backs Brazil’s bid for a permanent seat on the United Nations (UN) Security Council.
Dos Santos argued that, in its international activities, Brazil should reclaim its African heritage to reinforce the ties between the two continents. He commended the stance taken by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva during his trips to Africa.
“For the courage with which he took on himself a past that is sad for Africans and Brazilians as well,” he said.
In April, during a trip to Senegal, Lula asked Africans to forgive the suffering caused during the period of slavery.
According to dos Santos, Lula has managed to elevate what the two peoples currently have in common: solidarity, deep friendship, and an understanding of the problems related to injustice and inequality.
The Angolan President affirmed that closer Brazilian ties can enhance the insertion of African and Latin American countries in the international context.
During the encounter, President Lula called on other nations to invest in Angola. He stressed that Angola’s recovery from the devastation wreaked by civil war will not come solely from the exploitation of natural resources but will require investments in the areas of education and health.
According to the terms of one of the agreements that was signed, Brazil will grant Angola US$ 580 million in credit between 2005 and 2007.