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MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP) — Mozambique's president on Wednesday welcomed his South African counterpart on a state visit, with the two leaders expected to discuss South Africa's recent wave of anti-immigrant violence.
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi met South African President Jacob Zuma in the Mozambican capital Maputo. Zuma is the first head of state to visit since Nyusi was inaugurated in January.
The two presidents are to talk about South Africa's recent series of attacks on foreigners. A Mozambican immigrant was one of seven people killed in that violence. While South African officials condemned the violence, they have also tried to address complaints that immigrants living in the country illegally are taking employment opportunities from South Africans.
Nyusi's government was surprised by the deportation last week of more than 400 Mozambicans living in South Africa illegally, said Foreign and Cooperation Minister Oldemiro Baloi.
The two countries share a history of people moving back and forth across the border. Around 40,000 Mozambicans work in South Africa's mines, Mozambique's labor ministry said. During the apartheid era, many South African political activists fled to Mozambique, including Zuma.
Mozambique is South Africa's top trading partner in Africa, Zuma's office said in a statement. Trade between the two countries favors South Africa, with about 300 companies operating in Mozambique. South Africa exports almost three times as much as what Mozambique sends to South Africa, according to the statement.
Zuma was accompanied by South Africa's ministers of energy, defense and environmental affairs, the statement said
The South African president and his delegation were met with musical performances and a 21-gun salute.
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