Congolese President Arrives for State Visit

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Congolese President Denis Sassou-Nguesso, accompanied by First Lady Antoinette Sassou-Nguesso and other dignitaries, arrived yesterday afternoon in Windhoek for a three-day State visit. His plane touched down at Hosea Kutako International Airport at 12h54 where the first couple were welcomed by Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba, First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba, heads of diplomatic missions, Ambassador of Congo to Namibia Patrice Ndounga and other top government officials. Immediately after disembarking the aircraft, President Sassou-Nguesso together with President Pohamba and other welcoming delegates marched to the saluting dais, whereupon the 21-gun salute was fired concurrently with the Congolese, Namibian and African Union anthems which were performed individually. The inspection of the guard of honour followed, after which the national anthems were once again played. After the march past, the two presidents greeted ministers, ambassadors from different embassies and the Congolese community in Namibia. There were some welcoming cultural performances by the Owambo and Tswana dancing groups. Papa Francois added some real Congolese flavour to the atmosphere when his group played several Congolese songs at the airport. Yesterday afternoon, President Sassou-Nguesso held official talks with President Pohamba before a State banquet was held in his honour. Today, he is scheduled to visit the salt company in Swakopmund, Tunacor Fisheries factory and the Namibia Fisheries Institute. Back in Windhoek he will attend a business dinner at the NamPower Convention Centre. Tomorrow, President Sassou-Nguesso is scheduled to visit the diamond factory Lev Leviev, the Heroes Acre, where he will lay a wreath, and Meatco. He leaves tomorrow. President Sassou-Nguesso’s delegation includes Minister of Presidential Affairs in Charge of Cooperation Charles Zacharie Bowao, Minister of Continental and Sea Fisheries Philippe Mvouo, Secretary General of the National Security Council Jean Dominique Okemba, Special Adviser for Hydrocarbons Denis Auguste Marie Gokana, Diplomatic Adviser to the Head of State Martin Adouki, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Francophony Daniel Owasso, Deputy Permanent Secretary in charge of Bilateral Co-operation in the Ministry of Cooperation Simeon Ewongo and other protocol officers.