Norway and Angola to cooperate more

Børge BrendeBørge Brende ( Conservative Party ).

A new agreement between Norway and Angola will ensure that  political talks between the two countries are  held regularly.

The agreement will be signed on Wednesday when Foreign Minister Brende meets his Angolan colleague Georges Chikoti.
It will ensure that “global and regional issues of common interest” are tackled and discussed at the political level,  communications consultant Guri Solberg at the Foreign Ministry  informs the news agency NTB.
MFA does not want to provide any further details about the agreement.

In the spotlight
The backdrop is Angola’s role as Norway’s most important trading partner on the African continent. This year it’s the 25th anniversary of Statoil establishing itself in the oil-rich country, where a number of other major Norwegian players also have established themselves.
The last six months, however, Statoil’s been in the spotlight because of several dubious payments to the Angolan state oil company Sonangol, including hundreds of million to a research institute that as of now only exists on paper.
The payments were part of the price Statoil had to pay to be awarded a contract as operator of one of Angola’s oil fields.
It does not make things easier that over 70 percent of Angola’s population live in extreme poverty, while the oil wealth has filled the pockets of the country’s elite, like President José Eduardo dos Santos and his family.
The committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs at Stortinget has asked Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tord Lien a number of questions about the case, but without getting to the bottom of it.
Open dialogue
The agreement between Norway and Angola will be effected just before the Nordic-African Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which begins in Oslo on Friday.
The meeting is held annually and is an opportunity for the representatives of the countries to enter into an informal and open dialogue on current issues of importance to both the Nordic countries and Africa.
This year the meeting will include foreign ministers from Angola, Ghana, Lesotho, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Sweden and Iceland. Finland will send its commerce minister, while Denmark sends an undersecretary.
Which nation is to host the event is decided on a rotational basis. It is seven years since the last time Norway  hosted the meeting.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today