King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain arrived in Dakar, the capital of Senegal on Wednesday (16 May) for a three day official visit on the last stage of their tour of West Africa.
King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain arrived in Dakar, the capital of Senegal on Wednesday (16 May) for a three day official visit on the last stage of their tour of West Africa. It was the royal couple's first visit to the continent and their stay in Dakar followed stops in the Ivory Coast and Guinea.
SYNOPSIS: An enthusiastic welcome awaited the King and Queen as their aircraft landed at Dakar Airport. The visit had been arranged last November when the Senegalese head of state was staying in Spain. President Leopold Sedar Senghor and his wife met the King and Queen who were accompanied on their tour by an eleven-man delegation, including Spanish Foreign Minister Marcelino Oreja, Pedro Lopez Aguirrebengoa the Minister for African Affairs and Miguel Alderso, the Under Secretary for Merchant Shipping.
Apart from visiting places of interest, the King was expected to discuss matters of mutual concern with President Senghor.
President Senghor told the royal couple that they represented not only youth, but the rebirth of democracy in the Iberian peninsula.
After the welcoming ceremony, the King and Queen were driven to the Presidential Palace where King Juan Carlos and President Senghor held talks before the royal couple left for the first of their official duties in Dakar. The King attended a commemoration ceremony at the capital's war memorial.
Accompanied by the Senegalese Prime Minister Abdou Diouf, King Juan Carlos laid a wreath at the memorial. During the royal visit the King and President Senghor both stressed the need to develop closer relations between their countries. The 1971 agreement on merchant shipping and fishing expired during the week of the King's visit and its renewal was the central theme of the talks.
A trade agreement was signed by the Senegalese President during his stay in Madrid last year and Spain has agreed to offer study scholarships for Senegalese students.