Zuma to cement ties with Britain

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma will in March undertake an official visit to Britain, where he will meet Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Gordon Brown, among others.

They are expected to discuss bilateral trade and issues of mutual interest when they meet on 2-5 March.

The visit will include a state banquet hosted by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in honour of Zuma.

Zuma will also hold talks with Prime Minister Gordon Brown on relations between the two countries.

"South Africa and the UK will also have a chance to share experiences as they are both preparing for major sporting events. South Africa is hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup, while the UK is hosting the 2012 Olympic Games," Zuma's office said on Thursday.

He will also meet Conservative Party leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg.

Zuma, who is accompanied by12 government ministers and a business delegation, will address the Members of the British Parliament at the Palace of Westminster.

He will also unveil a plaque at Oliver Tambo House, the former residence of the late ANC President in Muswel Hill, and meet with community leaders who have had a long association with South Africa and the struggle for liberation.

The visit highlights the increasingly important economic relationship between Britain and South Africa. Britain is one of South Africa's top three trading partners, with about R74.9 billion in trade passing between the two nations in 2008.