Foreign relations of Madeira

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 state and a founding member of NATO. It is a committed proponent of European integration and transatlantic relations. Paulo Portas 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 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 in the Portuguese-Spanish border.






  • Diplomatic relations were first established in 1925. They were severed in 1945 and were restored on June 24, 1974.
  • Bulgaria has an embassy and an honorary consulate in Lisbon.[3]
  • Portugal has an embassy in Sofia.[4]
  • In 2007, the two countries signed a police co-operation agreement.[5]



Further information: Foreign relations of Croatia



Further information: Foreign relations of Cyprus



Main article: Denmark – Portugal relations



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


Republic of IrelandPortugal


Republic of KosovoPortugal

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



  • Malta has an embassy in Lisbon and four honorary consulates, in the Algarve, Azores, Lisbon, and Porto).[12]
  • Portugal has an embassy and an honorary consulate in Valletta.[13]







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 December 1997, President of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević received Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama to discuss strengthening bilateral relations.[24]
  • In January 2002, Jaime Gama returned to Yugoslavia in his capacity as Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Chairman-in-Office. The OSCE was engaged in stabilizing the situation in southern Serbia following the Kosovo War.[25]
  • In November 2003, the President of Serbia and Montenegro, Svetozar Marović, visited Portugal. During this visit, he signed an agreement on the succession of Bilateral Agreements between Yugoslavia and Portugal, extending prior agreements on tourism, business, scientific, and technological co-operation, and co-operation in information.[19]
  • In July 2005, Portuguese Minister of Defense Luís Amado visited Serbia and Montenegro, where he discussed military co-operation with his Serbian counterpart.[26]
  • In May, 2007, Portuguese Foreign Minister Luís Amado gave strong support for Serbian ambitions to join the European Union.[27]
  • In July 2007, Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica visited Lisbon.[28]
  • In October 2008, Portugal recognized Kosovo's independence from Serbia.[29] (See also Kosovan–Portuguese relations.)
  • In November 2008, Portuguese Foreign Minister Luís Amado met with his Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremić in Belgrade and voiced his support for removing the suspension of a trade agreement between Serbia and the European Union.[30] Also that month, the Serbian Minister of Science and Technological Development met a Portuguese delegation and discussed cooperation in energy efficiency, nanotechnology, and the food industry, with plans to sign a co-operation agreement on science and technology by the end of 2008.[31]
  • In February 2009, Serbian Defence Minister Dragan Šutanovac met with his Portuguese counterpart Nuno Severiano Teixeira. They signed an agreement on defense cooperation and discussed Serbia's NATO bid.[32][33]
  • In June 2009, Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković met with Portuguese parliamentary speaker Jaime Gama, and discussed improvements to bilateral cooperation.[34]

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 enemies, but in recent years, they have enjoyed a much friendlier relationship and in 1986, they entered the European Union together.



Turkey's 161 years of political relations with Portugal date back to the Ottoman period when Visconte 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.

  • Portuguese embassy in Ankara
  • Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Portugal



  • Portugal recognized Ukraine’s independence in 1991.
  • Portugal has an embassy in Kiev.
  • Ukraine has an embassy and an honorary consulate in Lisbon and a consulate in Porto.[35]
  • Both countries are full members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and of the Council of Europe.
  • There are between 40,000 and 150,000 Ukrainians living in Portugal.

United Kingdom

United KingdomPortugal

Main article: Portugal – United Kingdom relations

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 Communist junta.



East Timor

East TimorPortugal

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]

People's Republic of China


Main article: People's Republic of China – Portugal relations



  • Relations between India and Portugal began amicably in 1947 when the former achieved independence. Relations went into decline after 1950 over Portugal's refusal to surrender its enclaves of Goa, Daman and Diu on India's west coast. By 1955, the two nations had cut off diplomatic relations, triggering a crisis which precipitated in the invasion of Portuguese India in 1961. Portugal refused to recognize Indian sovereignty over the annexed territories until 1974 when, following the Carnation Revolution, the new government in Lisbon recognized Indian sovereignty and restored diplomatic relations.
  • Relations have turned cordial since then and a number of state visits have been made, treaties have been signed. Indo-Portuguese bilateral trade grew from USD 69 million in 1991 to USD 289.52 million in 2005.
  • The Indian state of Goa will host the 2013 Lusophony Games, the third edition of the multi-sport event for delegations representing every Portuguese-speaking National Olympic Committees.
  • Portugal has an embassy in New Delhi and a Consulate-General in its former colony Panjim, Goa.
  • India maintains an embassy in Lisbon.



Main article: Indonesia–Portugal relations

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]


IsraelPortugal 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

North KoreaPortugal

Portugal and [3].



United States

United StatesPortugal

Main article: Portugal – United States relations

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


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