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Harry to meet Angolan president

Duke of Sussex meets Joao Lourenco as emotional tour of Angola comes to an end.

The Duke of Sussex meets landmine victim Sandra Tigica, who Princess Diana met on her visit to Angola 1997, during a reception at the British Ambassadors Residence in Luanda, Angola, on day five of the royal tour of Africa (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
The Duke of Sussex meets landmine victim Sandra Tigica, who Princess Diana met on her visit to Angola 1997, during a reception at the British Ambassadors Residence in Luanda, Angola, on day five of the royal tour of Africa (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

By Tony Jones, PA Court Correspondent

The Duke of Sussex will sit down for talks with Angola’s president Joao Lourenco as his three-day tour of the African country comes to an end.

Harry had an eventful day on Friday in the Angolan city of Huambo when he made an “emotional” pilgrimage to retrace the steps of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales – who famously walked through a partially cleared Angolan minefield.

During a day of symbolism that saw Harry wear body armour and a protective mask as Diana had done to watch a de-mining team at work, and tour an orthopaedic unit she visited – he said her memory remains with him “daily” and her “legacy” lived on.

The duke spoke candidly about his trip to a Huambo orthopaedic centre named in the princess’ honour, saying the visit was “deeply personal and meaningful” to him.

He delivered a call to action to help rid the world of landmines, and said Angola’s continued problem with the buried munitions would likely have been solved if his mother had lived.

Later on Saturday Harry will be welcomed by a guard of honour at the presidential palace in the capital Luanda before having an audience with the Angolan leader.

Mr Lourenco has served as President of Angola since September 2017 and was previously defence minister from 2014 to 2017.

Harry will hold separate talks with the First Lady Ana Dias Lourenco who will give the royal a briefing on the Born Free to Shine initiate.

It is a project spearheaded by the First Lady, which focuses on preventing HIV/AIDS transmission from mothers to babies.

The project addresses both the medical and socio-educational issues around HIV and AIDS which are still taboo issues in Angola.

Despite the country’s low infection rate, other factors such as high fertility and a young population, combined with a lack of awareness are driving infection rates up, and rates of mother-to-baby transmission are the highest in sub-Saharan Africa.

The president’s wife has just approved a national plan to tackle the issue.

PA

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