Emir of Qatar in African tour

Published May 15th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani arrived in Cape Town on Tuesday for the first part of a six-country African tour. 

 

The Emir, who is accompanied by five cabinet ministers, is scheduled to meet with President Thabo Mbeki and address the South African parliament on Wednesday. 

 

He is expected to leave on Thursday for the Ivory Coast, Guinea, Gambia, Niger and Mali. 

 

His talks with African leaders will cover "prospects of bilateral cooperation in various fields and developments on the regional and international scenes," Sheikh Hamad's palace said in a statement Monday, according to AFP

 

On Friday, South African Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad said that Sheikh Hamad's May 14-16 visit was "the result of the steady development of relations" between the two countries. 

 

He added that Sheikh Hamad, current chairman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the first Gulf ruler to make a state visit to South Africa, would brief Mbeki on developments in the Middle East region. (Albawaba.com) 

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