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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 August 2006, 20:09 GMT 21:09 UK
Cameron and Mandela in HIV talks
Nelson Mandela (L) and David Cameron
Mr Cameron (R) is on a two-day visit to South Africa
Conservative leader David Cameron has met Nelson Mandela in South Africa to discuss the continent's challenges.

The two men talked about international development, global poverty and HIV/Aids during a meeting at the former president's Johannesburg offices.

Mr Cameron said Mr Mandela was the "most remarkable statesman of our age".

The Tory leader, who will spend two days in the country, is expected to give his first major speech on the global economy in India next month.

He said Mr Mandela's "insights into the challenges facing South Africa, the continent of Africa and the wider world" were "hugely valuable".
I think it's vital to understand the issues and to learn first hand from the people
David Cameron

"What struck me most were his personal qualities - his warmth, his wisdom, his sense of humour and his optimism."

He said that a "detailed engagement" in the challenges of modern Africa was a "key part of modern Conservatism".

"I think it's vital to understand the issues and to learn first hand from the people and organisations working on the ground.

"South Africa is not only a hugely important country in its own right, it plays a vital role in sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the continent."

The Tory leader, who has been criticised for not speaking out enough on world affairs, has made a number of foreign trips recently.

Last month he met Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul and chatted to British troops deployed in the troubled country.


SEE ALSO
Profile: Nelson Mandela
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