Ramaphosa bids farewell to Charles, speaks of 'friendship, solidarity and partnership' with UK

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  • President Cyril Ramaphosa greeted King Charles at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday evening, marking the end of the first state visit of the monarch's reign.
  • Earlier, Ramaphosa met with Prince Edward as a new set of health and science partnerships between SA and the UK was announced, before the South African president met with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and addressed Parliament.
  • "We thank you for your friendship, solidarity and partnership," Ramaphosa said. "Please be assured of the sincere and enduring friendship of South Africa and its people."

President Cyril Ramaphosa's trip to the UK, which marked King Charles III's first state visit since his accession to the throne, concluded Wednesday evening with a farewell at Buckingham Palace.

The royal family shared a clip of the president leaving the palace as the monarch waved goodbye after what was an eventful second day for Ramaphosa.

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Earlier, Ramaphosa met with Prince Edward for a visit to Kew Gardens, which showcases the longstanding scientific and conservation partnerships between South Africa and the UK.

They also saw the work of the Francis Crick Institute, a biomedical research centre collaborating on projects with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, as Britain announced a new set of health and science collaborations with South Africa, which will look at vaccine manufacturing, genome sequencing and climate change.

Later, Ramaphosa would go on to meet with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and address the British Parliament.

Following his farewell with Charles, he was also hosted by Lord Mayor of the City of London, Nicholas Lyons, Lady Mayoress Felicity Lyons and The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester at a state banquet held in his honour.

Ramaphosa spoke of inequality, climate change and the rich history between SA and the UK as he addressed the British Parliament Wednesday. "If you have ever visited our Parliament buildings in Cape Town, you may have seen in the gardens a statue of Queen Victoria, the revered ancestor of His Majesty King Charles III. And not far from where we are gathered today, on the other side of Parliament Square, is a statue of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the father of our nation," he began.

"The presence of the statues of these two great historical figures at the seats of our respective democracies makes a powerful statement."

He'd go on to say: "By exploring the full extent of our common interests and capabilities, I am certain that we will add another chapter to our long and rich history," he said.

"As the members of this Parliament, you have been vital and engaged participants in the evolution of the relationship between our two countries. You have provided support and encouragement. You have stood by us during our darkest hours, and you have celebrated our achievements."

He concluded: "We thank you for your friendship, solidarity and partnership. Please be assured of the sincere and enduring friendship of South Africa and its people."    

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