South Africa President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday thanked his Senegalese counterpart Macky Sall and his government for hosting the 30th commemoration celebrations of the historic 1987 Dakar Talks which paved the way for the dismantling of apartheid.
Zuma was hosting Sall on an official State visit and said talks between the nations was a manifestation of the solidarity and friendship between South Africa and Senegal.
The Dakar Talks commemoration took place from 10-14 July this year.
“The solidarity we speak of was a determination by many countries on the Continent, including Senegal, to lend a hand in the fight against colonialism and the racist Apartheid government. We consider Senegal’s role in hosting the Dakar Talks between a group of white South Africans and the leadership of our glorious movement, the African National Congress [ANC], a significant contribution to South Africa’s democratization process,” Zuma said in Cape Town.
Zuma further highlighted that the meeting with Sall comes three days before the centenary birthday of ANC stalwart Oliver Reginald Tambo who would have turned 100 on October 27.
Due to government dedicating 2017 to the commemoration and celebration of the life of “this great giant”, Zuma said that it is only befitting that the State visit of Sall be dedicated to the life and legacy of OR Tambo.
“We believe that our countries’ strong ties of solidarity and friendship demand of us to honour you, Mr President,” Zuma said.
He said Senegal and South Africa shared similar values when it came to freedom, democracy, rule of law and fundamental human rights.
Zuma added that for this exact reason, the two countries not only had to increase teamwork but also strengthen their partnership on issues such as peace and security, economic development and good governance on the continent.
“We need to pay a particular focus on resolving the ongoing peace and security crises on the Continent. This demands that we work together more than before to share expertise and information,” said Zuma.
He said he is looking forward to fruitful deliberations with Sall.