President acknowledges Portugal's colonial past

Making the first visit to the country by a Portuguese head of state for 31 years, Rebelo de Sousa said Portugal "fully acknowledges" its colonial past "including those aspects which were not positive".

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (R) welcomes his Argentinian counterpart Alberto Fernandez at the Belem Palace in Lisbon during his official visit to Portugal on May 9, 2021. Picture: Carlos Costa / AFP.

BISSAU - Portugal's President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on Tuesday acknowledged his country's not always positive colonial past, during a visit to the former colony of Guinea-Bissau.

Making the first visit to the country by a Portuguese head of state for 31 years, Rebelo de Sousa said Portugal "fully acknowledges" its colonial past "including those aspects which were not positive".

The West African nation of Guinea-Bissau fought a war of independence and became a sovereign state in 1974.

Portugal is a bridge between cultures and "it has been throughout its history, not always well, often badly," said the Portuguese leader, who arrived in Bissau Monday for a 24-hour visit after a stay in Cape Verde.

Rebelo de Sousa held talks with his Guinean counterpart Umaro Sissoco Embalo.

He visited a cemetery where hundreds of Portuguese soldiers who died during the independence war are buried.

Rebelo de Sousa also laid a wreath at the tomb of Amilcal Cabral, the Guinea-Bissau independence leader killed in Conakry in 1973.

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