The head of state arrived yesterday night in Santo Domingo, on a commercial flight, after a stopover in Madrid, along with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, João Gomes Cravinho.

The program of this one-day official visit, concentrated in the capital, begins with a meeting with the President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, who will receive Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the National Palace, with military honours.

In the afternoon, after laying a wreath at the Altar of the Fatherland, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa will be received by the presidents of the Senate, Eduardo Estrella, and the Chamber of Deputies, Alfredo Pacheco, in the National Congress, where he will speak.

At the end of the day, the head of state will have a meeting with Portuguese residents in the Dominican Republic and representatives of national companies with a presence in this Caribbean country, a former Spanish colony.

Neighbouring Haiti, which occupies the western third of the island, the Dominican Republic has a population of approximately ten million, just below that of Portugal, and an area about twice as small.

Tourism has a strong weight in the Dominican economy, as well as the construction and mining sectors. The United States of America is the main economic partner.

The political system is presidential, with elections every four years. Luis Abinader of the Modern Revolutionary Party, an economist, 55, has been President of the Republic since August 2020.

The 28th Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government will take place between Friday and Saturday in Santo Domingo, under the motto "Together for a just and sustainable Ibero-America". Portugal will be represented by the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and the Prime Minister, António Costa.

Former President of the Republic Jorge Sampaio was in the Dominican Republic in November 2002 to participate in the 12th Ibero-American Summit in Bávaro, in the tourist area of Punta Cana, together with the then Prime Minister, José Manuel Barroso.

Mário Soares also passed through the Dominican Republic as head of state, where he had political meetings in June 1994, in transit to Portugal, on the return of the 4th Ibero-American Summit, held in Colombia.

The Ibero-American community consists of 22 countries, of which three are European; Portugal, Spain and Andorra, and 19 Latin American: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

The first summit of this community was held in 1991 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The meetings of Heads of State and Government have been repeated annually until 2014. Since then, they have only been every two years.

This will be Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa's fourth participation in Ibero-American summits, after those held in Colombia in 2016, Guatemala in 2018 and Andorra in 2021.