Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa highlighted today that Portugal maintains diplomatic relations with several non-democratic countries and defended that the World Cup is an important event and that the Portuguese authorities should be there.
Speaking to journalists in Leiria, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa maintained that Portugal maintains “diplomatic relations with most states in the world, [e] crushing is not democratic” and reiterated that he will speak in Qatar, where the football World Cup is taking place, on human rights.
“I already had occasion to say that I intervene in a debate on education and one of the fundamental points of education is human rights. So naturally I, the day after tomorrow, [quinta-feira] I will be talking about human rights in Qatar”, he said.
The trip of the President of the Republic to Qatar to watch the first game of the national football team in the 2022 World Cup, on Thursday, was approved in parliament today, with votes in favor of the PS, PSD and PCP benches, the abstention of Chega and votes against by IL, BE, PAN and Livre.
PS deputies Isabel Moreira, Alexandra Leitão, Carla Miranda and Pedro Delgado Alves voted against this draft resolution, and PSD deputies Hugo Carneiro, António Topa Gomes and Fátima Ramos and socialists Maria João Castro, Miguel Rodrigues and Eduardo Alves.
The President of the Republic considered that “the votes against were, obviously, of content, they were not formal and, therefore, it means that there was a political weighting”.
“In previous votes there had been. I had already traveled to several countries with votes against, because there was the idea, from those who voted against in a minority, that not being democracies, it made no sense to go there or that any contact would be a legitimization”, he declared, adding that “it is not that the orientation of Portuguese foreign policy”.
“The COP has just been scheduled [conferência do clima das Nações Unidas] next year to the United Arab Emirates. It took place this year in Egypt. They have regimes very different from ours and this has happened systematically in international meetings”, he noted, referring that it is “the only way for democracies to be able to talk to non-democracies about world problems”, and that “this applies to all the type of relationship, economic, political, scientific, technological, social, where the affirmation of the national interest is at stake”.
As for the World Cup, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa defended that it was “evident that the intervention of the Portuguese football team is a form of projection of the national interest so strong, so strong, that its captain is the best known person in the world as a Portuguese and of the best known in the world in global terms and serves – as is happening now in the United States of America – for a public campaign of the Portugal brand”.
“Therefore, the presence of the national team is a form of presence of Portugal and Portuguese interests, and enters into the logic that has been followed so far in Portuguese foreign policy”, he stressed.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa insisted that “the Portuguese team has an obvious international visibility and weight, it is not worth denying, that is how it is, and, therefore, it is Portugal that is represented by very qualified ambassadors”.
The President of the Republic added that when this World Cup was approved, in 2010, Cavaco Silva was head of state and José Sócrates was prime minister and “there was no kind of position at the time, or afterwards, by the international community, as there had been in the passed at least in the Olympic Games”.
“Having this event, which is of important projection for Portugal, the Portuguese authorities must be there”, he said, to emphasize that “it is completely different to support there, to go there and say what one thinks about the political situation there”.
Source: Futebol 365 by www.futebol365.pt.
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