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Arroyo arrives in Equatorial Guinea for 12-hour visit

After visiting Singapore, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo arrived in Equatorial Guinea Tuesday afternoon (Manila time) for a 12-hour state visit there before returning home to the Philippines. A Malacañang statement Tuesday night said Arroyo arrived aboard a chartered Philippine Airlines jet at 3 p.m. Manila time, following a 12-hour flight from Singapore. With her was a delegation that includes House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr, Trade Secretary Peter Favila, and Philippine ambassador to Nigeria Masaranga Umpa. Meeting them at the airport were Equatorial Guinean officials led by Prime Minister Ricardo Mangue Obama Nfubea and other ministers. After a brief rest at the Hotel Sofitel, Arroyo proceeded to the Bata International Airport for welcome ceremonies led by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo at the Africa’s Palace in Bata District. Shortly after arrival at the Central Palace, Arroyo offered flowers at the Fallen for Freedom Memorial. She then had a meeting with her Guinean counterpart at the Africa’s Palace following her speech at the opening session of the Equatorial Guinea People’s Republic Chamber. Following the meeting was the conferment on Arroyo of the National Order of the Independence, the highest honor accorded by the Guinean government to a visiting head of state. While there, Arroyo was scheduled to witness the signing of a joint communique� between the two countries, and also tour the Campo Alba Oil Field Complex, meet with the Filipino community here, and visit the National Bank of Equatorial Guinea. Her 12-hour state visit to Equatorial Guinea is upon the invitation of the Guinean leader who made a four-day state visit to the Philippines in May 2006. - GMANews.TV