June 4, 2020 / 12:40 PM / a month ago

Portugal foreign minister 'surprised' at Spain announcement of border opening

FILE PHOTO: Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva attends a news conference at Necessidades palace in Lisbon, Portugal February 4, 2019. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal’s foreign minister Augusto Santos Silva declared on Thursday he was “surprised” that Spain announced the reopening of its border with Portugal on June 22, and that he would seek clarification from the Spanish government.

“It is naturally Portugal who decides about the opening of the Portuguese border,” he told news agency Lusa, stating that the announcement did not conform to the usual “close cooperation” between the two governments on the shared border.

Spain’s Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said earlier on Thursday that the country would lift its land borders with Portugal and Spain on June 22.

Portugal said in May it would extend the border closure, in place since March 16, to June 15, but interior minister Eduardo Cabrita said on Monday he expected it to remain in place until July 1 because of Spain’s own restrictions.

Reporting by Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Ingrid Melander

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