Wednesday, 31 August 2011

President Zuma honours victims of terrorism on state visit to Norway

President Jacob Zuma of South Africa and his most recent wife, Tobeka Zuma (who seems to be the flavour of the month among his wives), today began a two-day state visit to Norway. The ties between Norway and South Africa are particularly close thanks to Norway being one of the few countries which stood by the ANC throughout the fight against apartheid (and not only through the last few years like Britain, the USA and many other countries did).
Between the usual events of the state visit’s first day – ceremonial, political talks and museum visits, the President and his wife found time to stop outside Oslo Cathedral, where they each laid a bouquet of flowers in honour of the 77 victims of the right-wing extremist terrorist attacks on Oslo and Utøya on 22 July. In the days following the attacks Oslo was literally covered in flowers and the largest sea of flowers was to be found outside the Cathedral, where people still continue to place their tributes. The King and Queen, who have been justly praised for their conduct after the attacks, accompanied their guests to the Cathedral.
Right now the King and Queen are hosting a state banquet at the Royal Palace. The state visit will conclude tomorrow afternoon, but the King and Queen will receive another head of state already on Friday, when the Queen of Denmark comes to Oslo to take part in the celebrations of the bicentenary of the University of Oslo, which was founded by King Frederik VI of Denmark-Norway on 2 September 1811 (the University carried his name until 1939).

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