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Italy will stand by South Africa, says Letta

Italian premier says Mandela lesson for Europe

10 December, 11:13
Italy will stand by South Africa, says Letta (ANSA) - Johannesburg, December 10 - Premier Enrico Letta said Tuesday that Italy will stand by South Africa "in its drive for equality" after arriving in Johannesburg to take part in a commemoration service for the former South African president and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela.

"It was a moral obligation to be here," said Letta.

The Italian premier is among over 90 international leaders, including United States President Barack Obama, taking part in the commemoration for Mandela, who died aged 95 last week.

The start of the ceremony was delayed by heavy rain that made it difficult for people to reach the Soweto stadium where it was being held.

A State funeral will be held on Sunday.