The Portuguese National Defense Minister, João Gomes Cravinho, said this Saturday, in Praia, that Portugal is available to promote Cape Verde’s approach to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO / NATO), intended by the Cape Verdean Government.
“There will be a new strategic concept for NATO in June next year and one of the key elements of this new strategic concept is a reflection on partnerships. On the Portuguese side, we are going to draw attention to partnerships with Africa, partnerships in the Atlantic ”, said the minister, to journalists, on the sidelines of the National Defense Day celebrations in Cape Verde, in which João Gomes Cravinho participated, this morning , in the city of Praia.
He recalled that NATO, a military defense organization between Europe and the United States of America and that Portugal has been a founding country, since 1949, “is currently going through a very important phase, which is to rethink its strategic concept ”. “And obviously Cape Verde, for us, is an absolutely privileged partner, a partner of the utmost importance, and it is also a very important focus of stability in a region where this reality is not verified everywhere”, he also pointed out.
“These are good reasons for a rapprochement between Cape Verde and NATO. And Portugal is always available as an ally of NATO to promote this rapprochement”, underlined the Portuguese Minister of National Defense.
NATO currently has 30 member states, the most recent being Montenegro, while Ukraine is one of the countries considered aspiring to join an organization. Currently, NATO membership is only possible for any other European State that intends to “promote the principles of this Treaty and contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area”, according to the organization itself.
This morning, after having signed on Friday, with his Cape Verdean counterpart, Janine Lélis, the new Framework Program for Cooperation in the Defense Field between the two countries for the period 2021/2026, João Gomes Cravinho met. and with the prime minister, Ulisses Correia e Silva, in which the theme of rapprochement with NATO – previously admitted by the Government of Cape Verde – was raised.
“We have a framework of strategic cooperation in the Defense and Security sector in which Portugal plays an important role in our relations with the European Union and also in the triangulation we are doing with the United States of America and in our intention to draw closer to NATO”, said, at the end, Ulisses Correia e Silva, to the journalists. “Because security issues are very important. Not only because we have a very wide maritime zone, we are 99% sea, and we needed to have surveillance and monitoring of our seas. We need to be secure in our geostrategic location and we needed good allies. That’s why this relationship with Portugal goes in that direction”, explained Ulisses Correia e Silva.
The Minister of National Defense of Portugal also conveyed the Portuguese willingness to strengthen the partnership with Cape Verde in maritime patrolling, given the new challenges that arise in the Atlantic: “What we have seen in recent years is that the Atlantic has been transforming. if in an ocean less and less regulated. And it is very important for us, the Atlantic countries, to work together on the fight against transnational crime that takes place at sea”. “We were checking what ways we can use to strengthen our mutual capacity to fight transnational crime at sea and this is one of the important chapters of the new Framework Program for Cooperation in the Defense Field”, added João Gomes Cravinho.
The Portuguese government official returns to Lisbon today, but this morning, in the center of Praia, he attended the military parade within the scope of the National Defense of Cape Verde. “It’s a way for me to say we are together. Our challenges are common challenges and we want to work on them together”, he said.
The prime minister, Ulisses Correia e Silva, who also attended the parade, emphasized that “defence and security is everyone’s duty”, hence these celebrations, with a few hundred people watching. “Evidently that [a defesa] it is ensured by the institutions, in this case the Armed Forces, but we share this data precisely so that the population, the citizens, feel that they are part of it and that it is important to celebrate important days like this one”, he concluded.