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SA and Congo sign co-operation agreement

26th November 2003

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South African Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma yesterday concluded a two-day visit to the Republic of Congo to sign agreements between the two countries and to discuss the political and economic situations in other regions.

The Foreign Affairs department said in a statement that Dlamini-Zuma had paid a courtesy call on the President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou-N'Guesso, and had held discussions with her counterpart - Rodolphe Adada, minister of foreign affairs, co-operation and Francophonie.

They exchanged views on a wide range of topics including bilateral, regional, continental and global issues.

The ministers made an assessment of the current levels of co-operation between the two countries since a visit by Adada to South Africa two years ago. They noted the progress made in strengthening and consolidating ties between both countries.

Considering the international situation, the two ministers focused on issues relating to peace and security and stressed the central role of the United Nations in that regard.

Both countries commended the transitional government and the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on progress made in establishing lasting peace in that country, the department said.

Adada appraised Dlamini-Zuma on developments in the Central African Republic, and Sao Tome and Principe. The ministers reaffirmed their support for an all-inclusive political dialogue as a means for a durable solution to the problems in the Central African Republic.

On Sao Tome and Principe, the ministers expressed their satisfaction with progress made in restoring stability on these islands.

They exchanged views on the forthcoming Great Lakes conference and agreed it presented an opportunity for discussing problems faced by countries in the region and for developing a comprehensive approach to their resolution, the department said.

They expressed confidence that the African Union would further consolidate unity and integration on the continent.

Countries in Africa were urged to ratify the Peace and Security Council so that this council could also come into force.

The two ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of Nepad, the African Union's economic development programme of action.

In this connection they agreed to explore possibility of joint programmes between countries.

With a view to laying the legal foundations for co-operation and to strengthen bilateral relations, the ministers signed an agreement between the Republic of Congo and the Republic of South Africa.

The agreement makes provision for the establishment of a joint co-operation commission in various fields of common interest.

Foreign Affairs said Dlamini-Zuma was leaving for Gabon for the second leg of her visit to central Africa. – Sapa.
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