Statement by President JG Zuma to media briefing following talks with President Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, Union Buildings
8 Apr 2010
Your Excellency, President Sassou-Nguesso
Members of your delegation
Members of the media
Ladies and gentleman
It is a great pleasure to welcome your Excellency to our country. This visit is another milestone in the development of the excellent relations between our two countries. This visit takes place almost five years since the state visit by President Thabo Mbeki to the Republic of Congo in 2005, signalling the importance that each of our countries attaches to this relationship.
The visit is a fitting reminder of the determination of African countries to forge their own destinies. The discussions we have held today and the agreements that we have now signed, underline our commitment to a common future of prosperity and progress. We are convinced that there is much to be gained for both our countries from closer cooperation.
The agreements we have signed in economic cooperation, maritime transport and arts and culture, build on important work already underway in areas like health and defence. These agreements lay the basis for greater economic interaction not only between our two countries, but also between our two regions.
To deepen this cooperation, we are pleased to announce that we will formally launch the joint commission for cooperation that we agreed to establish in 2003. South Africa will host the Joint Commission later this year.
It is significant that you have been accompanied on this visit by a sizeable business delegation. We look forward to engaging with members of this delegation and their South African counterparts when we meet them tomorrow. Like them, we appreciate the potential that exists for greater trade and investment between the two countries.
We see lots of opportunities in your country for development and cooperation. For example, Congo has vast forest reserves and an abundance of water. The Congo River and many other lakes in your country present opportunities for the development of a rich fishing industry, especially fishing for commercial purposes and export.
South Africa is keen to participate in the development of the agricultural sector in Congo. There is also great potential for the generation of electricity through hydro-power schemes. Furthermore, your country has the most significant deep water port between Dakar and Cape Town and could thus be a transit point for the whole Congo basin. As the South African government we are committed to contribute to the development of this potential.
South Africa appreciates the role that the Republic of Congo has played, and continues to play, in promoting the African agenda. We are committed to work together with you to advance the cause of a united and prosperous Africa, both within continental structures and in broader international forums. We will continue to work together to ensure that sufficient attention is given to the effects of climate change on the peoples of Africa. We will continue to urge developed nations to honour their commitments to Africa.
I am pleased that you will be able to visit Freedom Park. The park is a powerful and moving monument to the struggle of our people to be free.
It is also a symbol of the struggles of people across the continent to determine their own future. We are convinced that by working together, we will be able to give practical expression to that ideal.
Let us extend, in advance, our best wishes to you and the Congolese people on the forthcoming celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Republic of the Congo on 15 August this year. We wish your beautiful country prosperity and success in the coming years.
I thank you.
Issued by: The Presidency
8 April 2010
Source: The Presidency (http://www.thepresidency.gov.za/)
Issued by: The Presidency
8 Apr 2010
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