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In 1942 South Africa established its first Diplomatic Mission in Egypt, which was closed down again in 1957, as a result of the policies of the South African government and the support of the Egyptian government for the liberation movements.

During 1960, representatives from South Africa’s various liberation movements visited Egypt to solicit Egyptian support for the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. On 30 May 1960, relations between the governments of Egypt and South Africa were officially severed and Egypt lent its support to the liberation movements. In 1988 contact between the two governments was re-established when Egypt offered Cairo as a venue for a meeting between South Africa, Angola, Cuba, the USA and the Soviet Union. It was during this meeting that the first contacts between the then South African Minister of Foreign Affairs and the then Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs took place.

The first sign that relations could be normalized occurred in 1991, when the Egyptian Ambassador to Mozambique announced that he would react favorably to visa applications from South African citizens. At the end of 1993 South African and Egyptian Representative Offices were opened in Cairo and Pretoria respectively. On 11 October 1993 the Egyptian Foreign Minister announced that full diplomatic relations would be resumed after the 27 April 1994 general elections in South Africa. Egypt’s President attended the inauguration of South Africa’s first democratically elected President. Shortly after the elections, the two governments announced the upgrading of their respective Representative Offices to that of Embassies.

Since the normalisation of diplomatic ties in 1994, South Africa and Egypt have witnessed numerous high-profile visits. Former President Mandela visited Egypt on several occasions before and after 1994. South Africa and Egypt enjoy cordial bilateral relations and thus far, significant progress has been made in bilateral, political and economic cooperation through the various bilateral mechanisms including the Joint Bilateral Commission.

Given the many challenges facing the Continent today, it is imperative that the two sisterly countries elevate these relations to focus on the full spectrum of our potential, including political, socio-cultural, economic cooperation and multilateral matters. Indeed the focus of these engagements must be to address the well-being of our people and the development of our two countries. To meet these challenges, the focus will be on deepening economic cooperation by focusing on trade and investment between our countries.
HE Mr VW Mavimbela
Head of Mission

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