President of the Republic of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, officially welcomed His Highness the Aga Khan to Portugal during a ceremony and meetings at the Belém Palace on July 9, according to the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).

His Highness reportedly received State honors upon his arrival and was greeted on the occasion of his Diamond Jubilee, commemorating 60 years of global leadership and contributions to humanity.  More than 40,000 members of the Ismaili community have gathered in Portugal for the culmination of year-long celebrations taking place this week throughout Lisbon.

During the meetings at the Presidential Palace, the parties discussed ways that the Ismaili Imamat, and the agencies and institutions of the AKDN, are partnering with the Government and people of Portugal to improve the quality of life of communities within the Portuguese jurisdictions and around the world.  His Highness and meeting delegates also discussed opportunities for wider collaboration and ways in which they can further reinforce the strength of their existing relationship.

Following the meeting with Portugal’s President, His Highness and his delegation were invited to a lunch hosted by Portugal’s Prime Minister, Mr. António Costa, held at Foz Palace, where various dignitaries were in attendance. As a tribute to His Highness’ Diamond Jubilee, Prime Minister António Costa presented the Aga Khan with commemorative limited edition First Day Diamond Jubilee stamps issued by the Postal Service of Portugal.

The relationship between these two communities spans centuries, and was reinforced by an Agreement signed in 2015 to establish a Seat of the Ismaili Imamat in Lisbon.  AKDN’s commitment to Portugal reflects His Highness’ deep respect for the country. These partnerships acknowledge a shared commitment by both the AKDN and the Republic of Portugal to an agenda that promotes peace and pluralism.

In 2015, His Highness the Aga Khan remarked “What brings us together is not only our historical similarities and our mutual respect for our past, but our wish to work together better to address the opportunities and the problems which will confront us in the decades ahead.  Our respective histories have taught us to place our trust in human values and to root them in an ethical view of life.”