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South Africa has welcomed the completion of ratification procedures
of the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) by the
European Union (EU) member states.
The government said the move heralded a new era in the relations
between South Africa and the EU.
This follows the EU-South Africa ministerial meeting held in Dublin
on Friday between South Africa, Ireland, Netherlands and the
European Commission for Development and Humanitarian Affairs.
Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma attended the
meeting while the EU Troika comprised Ireland's Foreign Affairs
Minister Brian Cowen, The Netherland's Minister for Development
Cooperation Agnes van Ardenne and member EU Commission, Poul
South Africa's foreign affairs department said the ministers
appreciated the positive results emanating from the provisional
application of the TDCA, which had resulted in a 50 percent growth
in trade between the country and the EU.
"South Africa reiterated its confidence that the enlargement of the
EU would strengthen and deepen the already excellent relations
between South Africa and the EU," said spokesperson Ronnie
This view was reinforced by the fact that both South Africa and the
acceding states would find immediate mutual benefits in terms of
increased trade, strengthened political dialogue and increased
scientific exchanges within the framework of the TDCA.
South Africa also urged the EU to maintain its support to Africa in
the fight against poverty and associated ills.
The country also expressed appreciation and gratitude to the EU for
their active support and financial contributions towards the Ten
Years of Democracy Celebrations regarded as a successful
consolidation of democracy.
The meeting also discussed Zimbabwe, with the EU reiterating its
willingness to engage with the government of that country on the
basis of progress in EU benchmarks laid down and communicated to
Mr Mamoepa further stated that the EU welcomed the progress made by
the AU in establishing peace and security architecture on the
"The ministers stated their determination to implement the Peace
Facility in the spirit of the Maputo Declaration, which emphasised
the pivotal role of the African Union (AU).
Mr Mamoepa said both sides stressed that conflict in Africa should
be looked upon as areas of mutual concern and that ongoing dialogue
between the EU and South Africa would be used as a forum in which
these concerns could be aired.
Ministers underlined their strong commitment to the enhancement of
EU-South Africa relations, which would aid in the augmentation of a
functioning and consistent multilateralism.
To this end, Ministers agreed that EU-South Africa Ministerial
troika meetings would be held at least once a year - BuaNews.