ForeignMinistry inreshuffle following minister’s resignation.jpg

ForeignMinistry inreshuffle following minister’s resignation

THE PORTUGUESE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Professor Diogo Freitas do Amaral, has resigned his post due to serious health problems.

Dr. Amaral asked Portuguese Prime Minister, José Sócrates, to be relieved of his duties on Friday of last week, pending emergency surgery for a back problem. On Monday, Sócrates joined the President of the Republic, Professor Aníbal Cavaco Silva, in Belém in officially swearing in the new Foreign Minister, Dr. Luís Amado.

An economist, Luís Amado had been, until this week, Minister for National Defence. He has also exercised functions such as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Co-operation (1997-2002) and Under Home Secretary (1995-1997). Dr. Amado has been a member of the Madeira Legislative Assembly and an MP in the Portuguese Parliament. Professor Dr. Nuno Severiano Teixeira is the new Minister of National Defence. Dr. Manuel Lobo Antunes will be the new Under Secretary of State for European Affairs, Dr. João Gomes Cravinho the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Co-operation, Dr. António Braga has been appointed Secretary of State for the Portuguese Communities, and Dr. João Mira Gomes Secretary of State for National Defence and Maritime Affairs.

In a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on Friday, Dr. Amaral’s spokesman said: “The resignation request was not for any political motives whatsoever. There have never been any political disagreements nor are there. It is purely and simply because of the serious deterioration of the Foreign Minister’s state of health in recent months.”

The Minister has been suffering from three growths on his spine, the most serious being on the spinal cervix. He underwent surgery on Monday, July 3.