King Charles welcomed his first state visit, Ramaphosa arrived in Britain

Update: 22.11.2022 14:38

London – British King Charles III. made his first state visit as monarch today, welcoming South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to the United Kingdom. This was reported by the Reuters agency. Britain is trying to strengthen its relationship with its biggest trading partner in Africa.

Ramaphosa and his wife were officially welcomed by the king’s eldest son and heir, Prince William, with his wife Kate at a central London hotel, kicking off his two-day visit. He was then escorted to Horse Guards Parade near Downing Street, where Ramaphosa was welcomed by King Charles and his wife Camilla.

Ramaphosa plans to visit Westminster Abbey, where he will lay a wreath at the symbolic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and view a memorial plaque to former South African President Nelson Mandela. He will then attend a banquet at Buckingham Palace.

The entire visit will take place in the traditional format introduced during the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth II. Ramaphosa will also address lawmakers in Parliament and meet Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Britain hopes the visit, which was planned before Queen Elizabeth’s death in September, will boost trade and investment ties between the two countries. It is also intended to show the importance of ties in the British Commonwealth (Commonwealth).

“It’s a reinforcement of the strong bilateral relationship we have with South Africa, a real opportunity to build on that close working relationship and discuss some of the issues that concern us all,” British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said.

Ramaphosa’s visit comes at a time when South Africa is struggling with persistent power outages and high unemployment. According to a BBC reporter, the president wants to use the trip to gain support for British investment in South Africa to help the country’s economic development and domestic industry.

This is the first state visit by a world leader to the UK since 2019, when former US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania visited the country. The several-day trips of top representatives to Britain were interrupted by the covid-19 pandemic.

The last state visit of a South African leader to Britain was the trip of ex-president Jacob Zuma in 2010. He was the first to be received then by King Charles, then Prince Charles, and his wife Camilla.

Source: České noviny – hlavní události by

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