Joint Communiqué on the Occasion of the Official Visit of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa, Sao Tome, 8 and 9 April 2005

At the invitation of Mr. Ovidio Manuel Barbosa Pequeno, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Communities of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa paid a two-day official visit to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe on 8 and 9 April 2005.

During her stay in Sao Tome, Dr. Dlamini Zuma was received in audience by His Excellency President of the Republic and Head of State, Mr. Fradique Bandeira Melo de Menezes. She seized this opportunity to convey the greetings and best wishes of His Excellency President Thabo Mbeki to President Fradique Melo de Menezes. Minister Dlamini Zuma was also received by the Honourable Prime Minister and Head of Government, Mr. Damião Vaz de Almeida.

During bilateral discussions, the two Ministers exchanged views on the situation in the continent. In this regard, Minister Dlamini Zuma congratulated Sao Tome and Principe in its capacity as Chair of the Conference of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) for its role in bringing peace and stability to Guinea Bissau. The two Ministers expressed the hope that the process of democratisation currently underway in Guinea Bissau will bring peace to this sisterly country.

Minister Manuel Barbosa Pequeno, on behalf of President Mello De Menezes congratulated President Mbeki for the success of his mediation efforts in Cote d'Ivoire, as evidenced by the recent signing of the Pretoria Agreement on the Peace Process in Cote d'Ivoire.

The Ministers welcomed the successful conclusion of the referendum in Burundi and agreed that this milestone marks the dawn of a new era in Burundi. They also welcomed the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in the Sudan and expressed the hope that this agreement will impact positively in the resolution of the current conflict in the Darfur region.

With regards to bilateral cooperation the two delegations agreed on the need to intensify cooperation in the following fields:

· Education (particularly higher education)
· Health (particularly Medical Evacuation; construction of health facilities, and exchange of medical technology).
· Air Transportation
· Tourism
· Vocational Training
· Agriculture with a specific focus on Small and Medium scale farming
· Capacity building for the Sao Tome Diplomatic Service

They underlined the need to implement and follow up on the above areas. In this regard they agreed that concrete plans, programmes and agreements in these fields should be developed and concluded as soon as possible.
In order to create a framework within which the above mentioned cooperation will take place, the two Ministers signed a General Bilateral Cooperation Agreement between the two Governments.

At the end of her visit in Sao Tome, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma expressed on behalf of her delegation, her profound gratitude to Minister Manuel Barbosa Pequeno for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to her and her delegation, during her brief but fruitful visit.

Minister Manuel Barbosa Pequeno accepted an invitation to pay a reciprocal visit to South Africa at a date to be determined through the diplomatic channel.

Done in Sao Tome 9 April 2005

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa