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Portugal – India: Geographical and Political Dimensions

Today Portugal supports almost all Indian efforts including UNSC permanent membership. It wants to become Gateway to Europe for India and Indian products.

Pointers on Portugal

  • Portugal is a sovereign country in the Iberian Peninsula.
  • It is the western most country of the mainland Europe.
  • It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on its western and southern side and Spain on its north and east. Beside the mainland, it also includes the archipelagoes of Madeira and Azores.
  • It is the member of NATO, EU, OECD AND UNO.
  • Tagus is the main river of Portugal.
  • Pico on the island of Pico of Azores archipelago is the highest peak of Portugal.
  • Portugal has Mediterranean type climate. It receives winter rainfall while summer remains dry.
  • It is the warmest European country.
  • Mediterranean type climate favors citrus fruits.
  • It has semi-presidential representative democratic republic.
  • Its capital is Lisbon.

Indo-Portugal relation in time line

  • 1947-50: amicable relation. Portugal’s collective occupation in India was called Estado da India that included Goa, Daman, Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
  • After 1950, India claimed Portugal’s exclaves of Goa, Daman and Diu and so relation deteriorated.
  • By 1955, diplomatic relation was cut off.
  • In 1961, India annexed these territories, however, Banco Nacional Ultramarino, a Portugal bank succeeded in taking away gold ornaments, deposited by the people of Goa. These were returned only in 1991.
  • Portugal refused to recognize Indian sovereignty over Goa.
  • After Carnation Revolution of 1974, the new government recognized Indian sovereignty and restored diplomatic relationship.

UNO and Goa crisis

  • On 14 December 1960, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution 1514 (XV) urging all countries to take steps to place their colonies and non-self-governing territories on the road to self-determination in accordance with Article 73 of the UN Charter.
  • Portugal claimed this resolution did not apply to them, as her colonies were overseas provinces, constitutionally integral to the nation, and thus exempt.
  • On 15 December 1960, the UNGA passed Resolution 1541 laying out 12 conditions by which the UNGA would determine the definition of a non-self-governing territory.
  • This was immediately followed by Resolution 1542 declaring that nine Portuguese overseas provinces met these conditions and were to be considered “non-self-governing” territories for the purposes of Resolution 1514, even if the Portuguese constitution did not recognise them as such.


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