"We have to pay the costs. Are there actions that were not punished and those responsible were not arrested? Are there goods that were looted and were not returned? Let's see how we can repair this", said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

The President of the Republic spoke during a dinner with foreign correspondents in Portugal.

At the event, Rebelo de Sousa said that Portugal "takes full responsibility" for the mistakes of the past and remembers that these crimes, including colonial massacres, had costs.

A year ago, in the welcoming session for Brazilian President Lula da Silva, which preceded the solemn session commemorating the 49th anniversary of the 25th of April in the Assembly of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa argued that Portugal owed an apology, but above all, had to take full responsibility for exploitation and slavery in the colonial period.

"It's not just apologising - duly, without a doubt - for what we did, because apologising is sometimes the easiest thing to do, you apologise, turn your back, and the job is done. No, it's taking responsibility for the future of what we did, good and bad, in the past", he defended.

Over more than four centuries, at least 12.5 million Africans were kidnapped, forcibly transported long distances by mostly European ships and merchants, and sold into slavery.