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2022-09-09 at 16h11

Portugal and São Tomé e Príncipe sign a new cooperation agreement for Defence

Minister of National Defence, Helena Carreiras, visits N.R.P. Zaire, which has been on a mission in São Tomé e Príncipe since 2018, São Tomé e Príncipe, 9 September 2022

The Portuguese Minister of National Defence, Helena Carreiras and her counterpart in São Tomé, Jorge Amado, signed the new cooperation agreement for defence (2021-2025) in São Tomé, bolstering training and maritime security.

"It is a programme that will extend and reinforce the more than three decades of cooperation between two friendly countries that have been in this time been deepening the ties and friendship that unite us", the Minister claimed.

Helena Carreiras stated that this agreement will continue "the capacity building and equalization of people, in the sense that this is the most important aspect and will enable a multiplying effect" in both countries’ work.

According to the Minister, Portugal has already trained more than 200 São Tomé staff under the cooperation between the two countries, which also includes "the areas of maritime security, surveillance and supervision, assisting the São Tomé coast guard", and the "important area of military health", where "very expressive training and cooperation programmes" are developed.

"We have a framework programme that will bolster these areas of capacity building, training and assistance, as well as infrastructure and equipment", Helena Carreiras claimed.

The Minister also referred to new areas, such as the creation of a Civilian Military Cooperation Cell (CIMIC) for the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) with the aim of preparing the military staff of the member countries "to take part in joint UN peace-keeping operations".

"We will have a specific training course/internship for this purpose in Portugal", Helena Carreiras underlined.

Minister of São Tomé highlights Portugal’s support

The Minister of National Defence of São Tomé e Príncipe considered that signing the new Defence agreement represents "the excellent level of relations, mutual willingness and deepening of the cooperation" between São Tomé e Príncipe and Portugal.

"Especially in the field of Defence, I must note Portugal’s efforts to assist us in several areas: training São Tomé nationals in Portugal, offering resources and equioment, whic has allowed us to meet our most pressing needs and, above all, maintaining in São Tomé a small and efficient military team continuously", Jorge Amado claimed.

After signing the cooperation agreement, the Portuguese Ministry of Defence met with the Prime Minister of São Tomé, Jorge Bom Jesus, followed immediately by the President of the Republic, Carlos Vila Nova.

Next, Helena Carreiras visited the São Tomé Military Health Centre and will visit the Portuguese Cultural Centre and the N.R.P. Zaire, the Portuguese navy patrol vessel that has been on a mission in São Tomé e Príncipe since 2018 under a bilateral agreement.

This patrol vessel aims to contribute to the training of the São Tomé coast guard, strengthen surveillance and supervision of the country’s maritime spaces and the security of the Gulf of Guinea region.

National Defence