Friday, March 5, 2010



South African president Jacob Zuma has spoken of his country's long economic and cultural links to the UK in an address to business leaders.
The president and his wife were guests at a dinner hosted by the Lord Mayor of the City of London at the Guildhall.

Earlier, President Zuma had sought to ease the security fears of England football fans travelling to the World Cup during a visit to Wembley Stadium.
He visits Prince Charles before his three-day state visit ends on Friday.

The president has also held talks at Downing Street with Prime Minister Gordon Brown and addressed a special meeting of MPs and peers in Parliament.
At the Guildhall, President Zuma emphasised the "constantly evolving" ties between the UK and South Africa.

When we say we are ready now for the World Cup, we include security in that
Jacob Zuma

He said that the relations were forged not through bilateral agreements but through study, culture, friendship, marriage, sport and food.
His country was making strides in improving education, reducing crime and delivering stability for foreign investment, he added.
At Wembley, President Zuma met Football Association chairman Lord Triesman and the England manager Fabio Capello.
The president said he was confident England supporters visiting South Africa in June for the World Cup would be safe.

"It's expected that people will have concern but we have worked very hard on the World Cup and that has included the question of safety," he said.
"Besides the time of the games themselves, the fact is we have brought down crime already.

"We are therefore very confident on this. And when we say we are ready now for the World Cup, we include security in that."
The subject of Zimbabwe was high on the agenda at Downing Street.
Speaking to the media afterwards, Mr Brown said Zimbabwe must show progress in key areas including democratic reforms before sanctions are lifted.

President Zuma had suggested sanctions should be eased to help the country "move forward".