Press Release

24/06/2011: STATEMENT BY THE ANGOLAN PRESIDENT - NEW YEAR GREETING'S TO THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS

REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA

GOVERNMENT OF ANGOLA

4º Conselho Consultivo do Ministério das Relações Exteriores

STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY JOSÉ EDUARDO DOS SANTOS,
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA
AT THE CEREMONY OF PRESENTATION OF TO THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS IN ANGOLA NEW YEAR’S GREETINGS
Luanda, January 13, 2011

EXCELLENCY THE DEAN OF THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS,
YOUR EXCELLENCIES AMBASSADORS AND HEADS OF MISSION,
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

It is with great satisfaction that I welcome the distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corps and their spouses to our traditional meeting at the beginning of each year at the Presidential Palace.

These meetings always provide a pleasant time and allow us to exchange opinions and useful information about the relations of friendship and cooperation among our countries.

I wish you all a prosperous 2011 and I hope that it is full of accomplishments, both in the professional arena and in the fulfillment of the dreams and aspirations of each one of you.

In the year that just ended, we still had to face some issues resulting from the international economic and financial crisis. We also had to deal with political crises and outbreaks of tension or conflict that erupted in various parts of the world, as well as natural disasters, which have caused enormous damages and losses in human lives.

Nevertheless, we saw some progress as a result of efforts made by several countries with the aim of contributing to a healthier atmosphere in the relations among nations and to improve the living conditions of their peoples.

In Angola, with the approval of the new Constitution, we adopted a new system of government that is best suited to the current stage of political, economic, social and cultural development, all in a democratic framework and with utmost respect for the rights, freedoms and guarantees of citizens.

In this process of physical, institutional and spiritual reconstruction on the path to a new Angola, and one that is more stable, prosperous and happy, we wish to continue to count with the multiform and mutually beneficial cooperation of our international partners. It is our understanding that the respect and strengthening of State institutions and its authority are as important for the economic and social development of African countries as are peace and stability.

In this context, the prevention of political and military crises, and the search, when they arise, for peaceful and negotiated solutions in order to avoid the postponement of economic and social development and the worsening of the living conditions of populations should be considered strategic priorities.

We welcome the stabilization processes underway in some countries that lived through war, namely Ethiopia, Mozambique, Congo-Brazzaville, and Angola, among others, because they represent hope for a better future for millions of people.

We express, however, our concern when military solutions are proposed to resolve crises such as the one in Côte d’Ivoire, ignoring the rules of domestic and international law, and sometimes the very evidence presented by the facts.

The facts specifically tell us the following: 1º -  The President of the Electoral Commission released the results of the second round of presidential elections when it was out of his competence to do so, since his term, for the purposes defined by law, was expired, and since the issue had been transferred to the Constitutional Council for due consideration and treatment;

2° -  The UN representative in Côte d’Ivoire, in a hastened move, certified and announced those results when the relevant UN resolution states that the certification should focus on the election results validated by the Constitutional Council, which had not yet made a pronouncement;

3° -  The declaration by the United Nations representative misled the whole International community, since the Constitutional Council had not validated the provisional results released by the President of the Electoral Commission as a result of having accepted objections and complaints of serious irregularities and fraud, which undermined these results;

4° - The Constitutional Council is, in fact, the only organ with the legal competence to validate and publish the final results of the elections;

5° - Under the law, the Constitutional Council should recommend the holding of new elections within 45 days, but it did not proceed in this manner and instead reported results that attributed the victory to another candidate.

Considering the above facts, it is difficult for Angola to accept that there is an elected President in Côte d’Ivoire.

We believe, however, that there is a constitutional president—the current President of the Republic, who must remain in power until the new elections, as established by the electoral law of that country.

The greatest difficulty now is that 45 days are not enough to create a favorable climate for elections and the current crisis situation complicates the matter further. We are, therefore, of the opinion that any military intervention in the particular case of Côte d’Ivoire would have an adverse effect, with serious consequences beyond its borders.

The Angolan Executive supports and encourages dialogue and negotiation to overcome the crisis in this brother country and believes that by demonstrating political will, wisdom and realism, it is possible to find a solution that focuses first and foremost on the legitimate interests of all the people of Côte d’Ivoire.

Through the competent institutions of the African Union, Africa must prove its maturity, experience and ability to solve the problems of our Continent, even the most complex and delicate, in lieu of waiting for inadequate solutions imposed from outside.

AMBASSADORS,
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

In today’s world, solutions imposed by force, intimidation or terror are no longer acceptable, because they clash with the universal values and principles which underlie the actions of the peoples moving towards peace, progress and well being.

Together, we must all create a barrier against terrorism, drug trafficking, illegal immigration and other ills that affect our societies as a contribution to a freer and more secure world.

I appreciate the kind words spoken by the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, especially when he praised our economic performance and expressed sympathy and solidarity with the Angolan people.

I wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2011!
I would now like to invite you to make a toast to friendship among Peoples.