King Letsie III of Lesotho arrives in Ireland for official visit
DUBLIN, Ireland, May 22, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — King Letsie III of Lesotho arrived in Ireland today for a three-day official visit, during which he will meet President Michael D Higgins, members of the Government and businesspeople.
King Letsie III and Queen Masenate Mohato Seesion are in Cork this morning at the start of their first official visit to Ireland. Later today they will tour Newbridge Silver Factory and Museum.
Tomorrow, President Michael D. Higgins and Mrs Sabina Higgins will host a lunch for the King and Queen at Áras an Uachtaráin. The King and Queen will also visit Portmarnock Community School in Dublin and tour the headquarters of Country Crest and Eirgrid in Dublin. Their visit will conclude on Tuesday with a visit to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.
Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello, will tomorrow meet King Letsie III to discuss Ireland’s development partnership with Lesotho and efforts to build greater trade links between the two countries. Ireland has a long-established development partnership with Lesotho, which is focused on improving access to education and treatment for HIV and AIDS.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello TD, said:
“Ireland and Lesotho have built strong connections over the last century. I am proud of the contribution made there by our missionaries, development workers and business people.
“Our development assistance to Lesotho is focused on the most vulnerable communities. Ireland has contributed to a substantial increase in the number of children attending school and supported thousands of poor people in the most remote areas to access treatment for HIV and AIDS.
I am determined to maintain our commitment to development cooperation, but also to build our economic and trade links. Ireland recognises the great potential of Lesotho, where the annual economic growth rate is now between 5% and 6%. .
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Africa Strategy sets out how Ireland is engaging more coherently with Africa, – economically, politically and through our aid programme.”
Minister Costello will host a dinner for King Letsie III and Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso in Iveagh House, Dublin following the meeting tomorrow evening.
Ireland – Ministry of Foreign Affairs