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[Photo file: Lusa - António Silva]
Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa arrived in Maputo on today to attend the inauguration of his Mozambican counterpart Filipe Nyusi on Wednesday, and then visit Beira, a city badly affected by Cyclone Idai in 2019.
With the thermometer at 25 degrees Celsius, the Portuguese head of state landed at Maputo International Airport at 7:25 a.m. (two hours before Lisbon time) on a 10-hour commercial flight from Lisbon, where the temperature was 10 degrees. “It’s a fabulous time [to be here],” he commented after receiving military honours from Mozambique’s Foreign Minister José Pacheco.
“It’s very important for me to be here right now,” he told reporters.
Marcelo highlighted his country’s “unique fraternal links with Mozambique”, underlining “the presence of Portugal and the fact that the Portuguese president is the only head of state of the member countries of the European Union” present at Nyusi’s inauguration as indicating the importance of his visit.
In addition to attending the inauguration of the Mozambican president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said that he will have a “full but not over- heavy agenda”, with a trip to the city of Beira on Thursday, where he will learn about Portuguese intervention in the region affected by Cyclone Idai in 2019, in addition to “meetings with representatives of Mozambican parliamentary political parties, political personalities from the world of culture and representatives of major religious communities”.
The visit “is special, because this is my second homeland, and I haven’t been here for a long time,” he said, highlighting a promise made to President Nyusi to visit the country. “Unfortunately I could not achieve it [before now] . Four years is a long time,” he concluded, referencing his last visit.
From the airport, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa went first to the Polana Hotel, keeping today for his private agenda. The Portuguese head of state arrived on the same day that the deputies of the Assembly of the Republic were sworn in for the IX legislature.
The programme of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa’s five-day visit to Mozambique includes other events, mainly of a cultural nature, and meetings with the Portuguese community in Mozambique, ending on Friday. He returns to Portugal on Saturday morning.
In Mozambique’s general elections of 15 October, Filipe Nyusi, president of the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) – the ruling party since independence – was re-elected as the first-round president of Mozambique with 73% of the vote, according to the official results contested by opposition Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo) and Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM) parties.
In the same trip to the polls, Frelimo succeeded in electing 184 of the 250 Assembly deputies, or 73.6% of the seats there, with 60 (24%) for Renamo and six seats (2.4%) for the MDM.Source: Lusa
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