Foreign relations of Portugal

Coat of arms of Portugal
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Foreign relations of Portugal are linked with its historical role as a major player in the Age of Discovery and the holder of the now defunct Portuguese Empire. Portugal is a European Union member country and a founding member of NATO. It is a committed proponent of European integration and transatlantic relations. Augusto Santos Silva is the current Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal.


Historically, the focus of Portuguese diplomacy has been to preserve its independence, vis-à-vis, the danger of annexation by Spain, and the maintenance of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, which officially came into being in 1386, and with the United Kingdom as a successor to England, it is still in place today.

Other goals have also been constant such as the political stability of the Iberian peninsula and the affirmation of Portuguese interests in Europe and the Atlantic (also in the Indian and Pacific Oceans throughout different moments in history).

International organizations

Portugal was a founding member of NATO (1949), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (1961), and European Free Trade Area (1960); it left the latter in 1986 to join the European Economic Community, which would become the European Union (EU) in 1993. In 1996, it co-founded the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP). The country is a member state of the United Nations since 1955.

Recently, the primacy of the United States and inter-governmental organizations such as NATO and the United Nations have also been paramount in the affirmation of Portugal abroad.

Portugal has been a significant beneficiary of the EU. It was among the top beneficiaries of the EU-15 between 1995 and 2004 (only behind Spain and Greece in absolute terms, and behind Ireland and Greece in a per capita basis).[1] Portugal is a proponent of European integration and held the presidency of the European Union for the second time during the first half of 2000, and again in the second half of 2007. Portugal used its term to launch a dialogue between the EU and Africa and to begin to take steps to make the European economy dynamic and competitive. In 2002, the euro began to circulate as Portugal's currency. José Sócrates, as Prime Minister of Portugal, presided over the rotative Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the period July–December 2007. In this post, Sócrates and his team focused on the EU-Brazil (1st EU-Brazil summit) and EU-African Union (2007 Africa-EU Summit) relations, as well as in the approval of the Treaty of Lisbon.

Portugal was a founding member of NATO; it is an active member of the alliance by, for example, contributing proportionally large contingents in Balkan peacekeeping forces. Portugal proposed the creation of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) to improve its ties with other Portuguese-speaking countries. Additionally, Portugal has participated, along with Spain, in a series of Ibero-American Summit. Portugal held the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) for the year 2002. The chairman-in-office was Portuguese Foreign Minister António Martins da Cruz.


Portugal holds claim to the disputed territory of Olivença on the Portugal-Spain border.





Further information: Foreign relations of Croatia


Further information: Foreign relations of Cyprus



Further information: Foreign relations of Estonia


Further information: Foreign relations of Finland


Portuguese links to France have remained very strong and the country is considered one of Portugal's main political partners.


Further information: Foreign relations of Greece


Further information: Foreign relations of Hungary



Portugal recognized Kosovo on October 7, 2008.[8][9][10] Kosovo has formally announced its decision to open an embassy in Lisbon.[11]





Portugal established diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Serbia on October 19, 1917.[16] Relations continued with the successor Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The Portuguese recognized the government in exile of this state after the German occupation of 1941.[17] Relations with the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which took power in 1945 after World War II, were only established in 1974 after the Portuguese Carnation Revolution.[18] Following the dissolution of SFR Yugoslavia during the Yugoslav wars, Portugal maintained relations with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, later reconstituted as Serbia and Montenegro and finally as Serbia after Montenegro declared its independence in July 2006.[19] Portugal has an embassy in Belgrade. Serbia has an embassy in Lisbon.[19]

In April 1999, Portugal participated in the NATO bombing of Serbia from the Aviano air base in Italy.[20] Portugal also provided troops as part of NATO peacekeeping efforts in the breakaway Serbian province of Kosovo in 1999.[21] In April 1999, Serbia filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice regarding Portugal's use of force in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.[22] As of 2007, Portugal still had about 300 troops in Kosovo.[23]

In the January–October 2006 period, bilateral trade between Serbia and Portugal were estimated at US$12.7 million.[19]


Historically, the two states were long-standing adversaries, but in recent years, they have enjoyed a much friendlier relationship and in 1986, they entered the European Union together.


United Kingdom

The relationship dates back to the Middle Ages in 1373 with the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance.

Former colonies


Portugal ruled Angola for 400 years,[36] colonizing the territory from 1483 until independence in 1975. Angola's war for independence did not end in a military victory for either side, but was suspended as a result of a coup in Portugal, that replaced the Caetano regime with a Military junta.


East Timor

East Timor has an embassy in Lisbon whilst Portugal has an embassy in Dili. East Timor was an overseas territory of Portugal for over 400 years. Portugal was a strong advocate of independence for East Timor, which was occupied annexed by neighboring Indonesia between 1975 and 1999, and has committed troops and money to East Timor, in close cooperation with the United Nations, East Timor's Asian neighbors.


Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975. Portugal has an embassy in Maputo and a Consulate-General in Beira. Mozambique has an embassy in Lisbon.

Rest of world



Armenia is represented in Portugal through its embassy in Rome, Italy.[37] Portugal is represented in Armenia through its embassy in Moscow, Russia.[38]






In 1999, Indonesia and Portugal restored diplomatic relations, which were broken off following the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975. Indonesia has an embassy in Lisbon,[39] and Portugal has an embassy in Jakarta.[40]


Since 1959 Israel and Portugal were represented by Consulates General only. Full diplomatic relations with the Israeli government were established in 1977, following the Portuguese revolution of 1974.[41]

North Korea

Since February 1975[42] the North Korea and Portugal has established diplomatic relations.[43]


South Korea


Turkey's 161 years of political relations with Portugal date back to the Ottoman period when the Visconde do Seixal was appointed as an envoy to Istanbul. Diplomatic relations ceased during World War I and were re-established in the Republican period in 1926. A resident embassy was established in 1957. Portugal has an embassy in Ankara. Turkey has an embassy in Lisbon. Both countries are full members of NATO.

United States

Portugal was among the first nations to establish diplomatic ties with the United States. Contributing to the strong ties between the United States and Portugal are the 20,000 Americans living in Portugal and some sizable Portuguese communities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, California, and Hawaii. The latest census estimates that 1.3 million individuals living in the United States are of Portuguese ancestry, with a large percentage coming from the Portuguese Autonomous region of the Azores.

See also


  1. Germany and Sweden largest net contributors to EU budget
  2. Përfaqësitë Diplomatike Shqiptare në Botë, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania (in Albanian)
  3. Bulgarian embassy in Lisbon
  4. Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Portuguese embassy in Sofia
  5. "Bulgaria, Portugal Sign Police Cooperation Agreement". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  6. "Embaixada de Portugal em Copenhaga". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  7. Denmark embassy in Lisbon
  8. "Comunicado de Imprensa - Kosovo" (in Portuguese). Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeriros. 2008-10-07. Archived from the original on October 21, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
  9. "Anunciou Luís Amado: Portugal reconhece hoje independência do Kosovo". Publico (in Portuguese). Lisbon: Publico. 2008-10-07. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
  10. "Portugal recognises independent Kosovo" 7 October 2008 Link accessed 07/10/08
  11. "Diplomatic Missions of Kosovo Abroad (Albanian)" Kosovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Link accessed 01/10/09
  12. "Sorry. The page you are looking for does not exist" (PDF). Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  13. "Sorry. The page you are looking for does not exist" (PDF). Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  14. "Ambasada Portugaliei in Romania". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  15. Romanina embassy in Lisbon
  16. Gerhard Schulz (1972). Revolutions and peace treaties, 1917–1920. Methuen. p. 35.
  17. Ahmet Đonlagić; Žarko Atanacković; Dušan Plenča (1967). Yugoslavia in the Second World War. Međunarodna štampa--Interpress. p. 41.
  18. Lester A. Sobel; Christ Hunt (1976). Portuguese revolution, 1974-76. Facts on File. p. 76. ISBN 0-87196-223-3.
  19. 1 2 3 4 "BILATERAL POLITICAL RELATIONS". Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  20. "Operação "Allied Force "" (in Portuguese). Caleida. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
  21. "NATO-member Portugal wants to withdraw troops from Kosovo". International Action Center (New York). October 24, 2000. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  23. "FACTBOX-NATO's Kosovo peace force". Reuters. 24 September 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
  24. "PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC RECEIVES PORTUGUESE FOREIGN MINISTER". Hellenic Resources Network. 1997-12-23. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  25. "OSCE Chairman-in-Office visits Belgrade and Podgorica". OSCE. 18 February 2002. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  26. "Serbia-Montenegro, Portugal to promote military cooperation". Xinhua News Agency. July 25, 2005. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  27. "Portugal pledges support for Serbia's EU ambitions". People's Daily Online. May 18, 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  28. "Kostunica On Visit To Lisbon, Berlin". eYugoslavia. July 16, 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  29. "Portugal reconhece hoje independência do Kosovo". PÚBLICO Comunicação Social SA. 07.10.2008. Retrieved 2009-08-04. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  30. "Portugal favors unfreezing of trade deal". B92 Radio (Serbia). 25 November 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  31. "Serbia is Strengthening its Cooperation Links in S&T". European Community's Programme for International Cooperation. November 16, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
  32. "Diplomatic Diary". SE Times. 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  33. "Serbia, Portugal in defense cooperation". B92 Radio (Serbia). 14 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  34. "Serbia, Portugal must improve bilateral cooperation". Government of Serbia. June 22, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  35. "Посольство України в Португальській Республіці". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  36. Alker, Hayward R.; Ted Robert Gurr; Kumar Rupesinghe (2001). Journeys Through Conflict: Narratives and Lessons. p. 204.
  37. Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of Armenians embassies around the world
  38. "Armenians embassies around the world". Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 2009-05-10.
  39. Indonesian embassy in Lisbon
  40. of Portugal
  41. Communiqué issued on 18 July 1977 by the Permanent Mission of Portugal to the United Nations
  44. "Embamex Portugal - Bienvenidos". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  45. "Embaixada de Portugal - México". Embaixada de Portugal - México. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
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