South Africa's leader welcomed for first state visit with King Charles III

REUTERS - POOL

King Charles III on Tuesday welcomed South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to London for the first state visit of his reign, with climate change, trade and the Commonwealth on the agenda.

Charles and Queen Consort Camilla were joined by heir to the throne Prince William and his wife Catherine to greet Ramaphosa and First Lady Tshepo Motsepe for a ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade in central London.

The parties then travelled to Buckingham Palace - the route lined with the UK and South African flags - in a carriage procession escorted by mounted soldiers from the Household Cavalry.

The two-day state visit is the first since Charles became king following the death of his mother, queen Elizabeth II, in September.

Ramaphosa's state visit comes more than a decade after the last by a South African leader, when Jacob Zuma came to the UK in 2010.

Later in the day, Ramaphosa will visit parliament for an address to both the upper and lower houses.

A tour of Westminster Abbey will include the memorial stone for anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, who served as president of South Africa between 1994 and 1999.

In the evening, Ramaphosa will attend a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.

Ramaphosa is also due to visit Downing Street for talks with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday.

Infrastructure Partnership

At the start of the visit, the UK and South Africa governments announced the launch of the next phase of the UK-South Africa Infrastructure Partnership.


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