Deputy Minster of Foreign Affairs, Aziz Pahad to Host Russian Counterpart, Anatoly Safonov, Pretoria, South Africa Thursday, 29th January 2004

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aziz Pahad will host his Russian counterpart, Anatoly Safonov for bilateral and multilateral discussions on Thursday, 29th January 2004 in Pretoria.

This meeting follows the third session of the Joint Inter-Governmental Committee on Trade and Economic Co-operation (ITEC) co-chaired by Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in Moscow in November 2003 during which many areas of mutual co-operation were discussed.

Against this background Deputy Minister Safonov will discuss with Deputy Minister Pahad bilateral and multilateral co-operation by both countries in the international campaign against terrorism, including among others:

· South Africa's position on the international campaign against terrorism;
· The importance of the co-ordinating role of the United Nations, with particular reference to the UN Security Council, in the international campaign against terrorism;
· The proposed United Nations Security Council Resolution on Weapons of Mass Destruction;
· The working of the United Nations Security Council Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the United Nation's Security Council's 1267 Committee, as well as the need for improved co-operation between these two committees;
· The complexities surrounding the negotiations at the United Nations for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and tor a International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism; and
· The G-8 Counter-Terrorism Initiative and the role of regional organisations in the campaign against terrorism.

In this regard, South Africa fully supports this campaign within the framework of the United Nations and contributes to the efforts of regional and other multilateral organizations in this regard (e.g. SADC, NAM, Commonwealth and AU).

South Africa does however, regard it as important to focus on the root causes of terrorism and to develop appropriate strategies to deal comprehensively with the threat of terrorism. Similarly, the combating of terrorism should not take place at the expense of civil liberties and human rights.

South Africa also considers it important that the campaign against terrorism should not push poverty and under-development off the international agenda.

Deputy Minister Safonov will also brief Deputy Minister Pahad regarding the work of the G-8 Counter Terrorism Action Group (CTAG) which aims to provide co-ordinated assistance to countries that need help in combating terrorism. In this regard, CTAG will co-operation strongly with the Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC) established by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Issued by Ronnie Mamoeopa on 082 990 4853.
Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
28 January 2004

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