Sao Tome wants Angola’s support in oil exploration

29 November 2005

Luanda, Angola, 2 Nov – The Prime Minister of Sao Tome and Principe said Monday at the start of a three-day visit to Luanda that the West African archipelago wanted to increase its ties with Angola, especially in the developing oil sector.

After a meeting with Angola’s President José Eduardo dos Santos, Maria do Carmo Silveira said, “we would like this visit to represent a qualitative jump in bilateral relations, giving them a strategic focus on areas that are considered important by both countries”.

Silveira and dos Santos also discussed the US$20 million debt owed by Sao Tome and Principe to Angola and the Angolan president was asked to consider the debt in the light of the expected debt pardon that Sao Tome will get from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) early next year.

Officials also said that Silveira discussed with Angolan Prime Minister Fernando Dias dos Santos, the possibility of setting up air and sea links between their countries, among other matters.

At the beginning of 2005 Sao Tome invited Angola, Brazil and Portugal to create a four-way consortium for oil exploration in its waters and in the area the country shares with Nigeria.

Although the response to the invitation has been positive, no specific move has been made thus far to create a consortium.