President Thabo Mbeki to meet Pope Benedict XVI
- President Thabo Mbeki, accompanied by Minister of Trade and Industry Mandisi
Mpahlwa, is scheduled to visit Italy from Friday - Saturday, 6-7 May 2005 where
he will pay a courtesy call on the newly installed Roman Catholic Pope Benedict
XVI and hold political and economic discussions with the leadership of Italy,
before addressing the European, Middle East and Africa Chief Executive Officer
President Mbeki is scheduled to hold discussions
with his Italian counterpart President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi and Prime Minister
Silvio Berlusconi in Rome on Friday, 6 May 2005.
Issues on the agenda are
expected to include the consolidation of political and economic bilateral relations,
European support for the African agenda, peacekeeping and conflict management
in Africa, the forthcoming G8 Summit and reform of the United Nations.
On conclusion of political discussions in Rome, President Mbeki
will travel to the Holy See where he is scheduled to meet the newly elected Head
of the Roman Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
his election as the Head of the Roman Catholic Church, President Mbeki had expressed
"the conviction that Pope Benedict XVI and indeed the Roman Catholic Church
will remain seized of and ally themselves with the struggle for a better Africa
and a better world." It is envisaged that President Mbeki will reconfirm
the important role of the Church in supporting the fight against poverty and underdevelopment.
Saturday, 7 May 2005 President Mbeki will, at the invitation of US bank Morgan
Stanley, address the European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) CEO Summit in Venice.
The Summit, scheduled from Thursday - Saturday, 5-7 May, is the largest gathering
of Chief Executive Officers (CEO's) and Chairpersons in Europe, and will represent
many of the leading companies from their respective regions. The Summit will focus
on the impact of global issues on the corporate sector while captains of industry
are expected to engage with President Mbeki on the role of NEPAD in fight against
poverty and underdevelopment in Africa.
Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082
Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152