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Mbeki in Congo for landmark state visit

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KINSHASA, Congo (Reuters) -- South African President Thabo Mbeki arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday for a landmark visit, capping his personal efforts in bringing peace to the volatile African country.

Mbeki's is the first-ever state visit to the Congo by a South African leader. He was accompanied by a large delegation of ministers, government officials and business executives -- keen to examine areas of investment in a country known for its minerals and energy wealth.

"South Africa...played a catalyst role that has helped the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo to reach an amicable resolution of the political challenges that had plagued the Congo for many years," the South African foreign ministry said in a statement issued after Mbeki arrived in Kinshasa.

Mbeki and host President Joseph Kabila -- who heads an all-party transitional government installed last July -- will hold talks focusing on economic cooperation and how to cement the peace process.

Copyright 2004 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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