PRETORIA – Chilean President Michelle Bachelet arrived early Friday in Pretoria, the first stop in an African tour which also includes Mozambique and Angola.
Bachelet, who landed at Pretoria’s Waterkloof military airport, is expected to meet later Friday with her South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma.
The trip, the first by Bachelet to Africa, is aimed at strengthening Chile’s presence on the continent with the signing of several trade exchange and cooperation agreements in the Energy, Agriculture and mining sectors, Chilean Foreign minister Heraldo Muñoz said recently.
After holding talks with Zuma, Bachelet will meet Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa before traveling to Capetown, on the southern tip of the country.
Bachelet is scheduled to visit Robben island, the prison where late President Nelson Mandela spent 18 years jailed by the racist “apartheid” regime, and give a speech at the Mandela Foundation as part of the institution’s yearly seminars on political and social issues.
The Chilean leader will travel Monday to Mozambique for talks with President Armando Guebuza before heading for Angola, where she will meet her colleague Jose Eduardo Dos Santos.
According to sources in the Chilean Foreign Ministry, Angola is of special interest to the South American country as a major oil exporter.
Chile does not produce oil and imports it mainly from Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and Argentina.