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article imageMiner Souvenirs for Cameron and Queen

By Robbie Dove     Oct 16, 2010 in World
Chilean President, Sebastian Pinera, is due to fly to the UK today to have talks with Prime Minister David Cameron and the Queen.
Less than a week has passed since the 33 Chilean miners were rescued from their ‘hospitality’ – or, 2 months and 2 weeks in a mine, 622 metres underground, and the President of Chile, Sebastian Pinera, is due to fly to the UK today to talk with Prime Minister David Cameron.
Mr Pinera told The Times newspaper that he will be bringing rocks from the mine where the men were trapped as little souvenirs for the Prime Minister and the Queen.
All 33 miners were all safely rescued from the San Jose mine earlier this week, and incredibly all but 2 of the men have been discharged from hospital, therefore spending much needed time with their families.
President Pinera, who was elected earlier this year, enlightened the world, standing in a pit helmet by the mine as he greeted each man with a hug as they emerged from the mine.
Pinera told The Times Newspaper that Winston Churchill’s famous saying “Blood, toil, tears and sweat” kept his inspirations high throughout the suspenseful wait for the miners’ rescue.
The 60-year-old president said, Many people thought the rescue was impossible and advised me not to get involved, to keep my distance and I decided to take full responsibility without any political consideration... We made a commitment to look for the miners as if they were our sons.
However, coincidently, Mr Pinera’s visit to the UK coincides with the news of a worker’s death at a gold mine in the Chilean town of Petorca. Mine worker Benitez Roberto Fernandez, 26, died when he was hit by falling rocks, marking the second fatal case of danger in Chilean mines within ten days.
Due to the case of the 33 miners being trapped for over 2 months, Mr Pinera has promised to improve the working conditions across Chilean mines.
The president is scheduled to arrive at London's Heathrow this afternoon and will visit the British Museum and Churchill's Cabinet War Rooms on Sunday.
On Monday he will speak with Mr Cameron at Downing Street, before having an audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
Mr Pinera, who was educated in Harvard university, USA, told The Times he hoped the status of Chile had been boosted internationally by the recent rescue effort. He also believed that the help of God was an “absolutely essential” part of the miners’ rescue.
Mr Pinera is due to give a lecture at the London School of Economics before visiting Germany and France.
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