Goodbye to Visas Between Namibia and Angola

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK After recent fruitful deliberations, Namibia and Angola issued a joint communiquÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚© on visa exemptions. This means that neither Namibian nor Angolan citizens will in future require visas to pass through their border points, thus allowing the free flow of people and the enhancement of trade and tourism between the two countries. The agreement was signed last week Friday between the Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Rosalia Nghidinwa, and the Angolan Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Angola, General Roberto Leal Ramos Monteiro Ngongo. Prior to the joint communiquÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚©, the two ministers met in Windhoek from Tuesday to Friday of last week (October 10-13). The ministerial meeting was aimed at reviewing and finding practical and operational solutions to fulfill the recommendations of the 13th meeting of the Angola/Namibia Joint Commission on Defence and Security held in Ondangwa from July 5-7 this year. The objective was to talk about public order and security issues between the two neighbouring countries. The latest venture is viewed as a way to strengthen the existing cordial relations and friendship between the respective governments and citizens. Addressing the media at a press conference at the signing ceremony, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Samuel /Goagoseb, said that implementing agreements on Exemption of Visa Requirements on diplomatic, official service and ordinary passports, was on the discussion table, amongst others: “the legal status of about 12ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 000 nationals living in Namibia for many years and registered as Angolans in Namibia, the Agreement on the Official Opening and Designation of the Border Posts, Crossing Points/Entry Points and the Agreement on the Movement of Peoples and Goods along the Common Borders,” explained /Goagoseb reading the press release. At the occasion, both ministers expressed satisfaction over the signed agreements and the existing excellent relations between the two countries. “The agreements, which came into force on October 5, 2006, will have a positive impact on the exchange of visits between the two countries’ nationals as well as on the promotion of trade and tourism,” /Goagoseb added. Both concurred that a solution to the legal status of nationals registered in Namibia as Angolans and living in Namibia for many years and unable to access social grants from either Namibia or Angola, be found. The two ministers were pleased that South Africa and Angola have been elected to host the FIFA World Cup and the African Cup of Nations in 2010 respectively. On her part, Nghidinwa congratulated the Angolan Government for the recent understanding achieved with the Cabinda Dialogue Forum, which will facilitate the re-establishment of institutional normalization in that part of the national territory. The same congratulatory note was passed to the northern neighbouring country over its successful start of the Electoral Civic Education Programme aimed at ensuring the holding of free and fair elections in a climate of peace and harmony. The Angolan Interior Minister extended an invitation to his Namibian counterpart to visit Angola during the first three months of next year, on a date to be agreed upon.