Minister Dlamini Zuma Launches New SA-Bahamas Joint Bilateral
Freeport- South African Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Nkosazana
Dlamini Zuma joined her Bahamian counterpart Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell in
launching the historic Joint South Africa-Bahamas Bilateral Commission in Freeport,
Bahamas on Saturday 24 September 2005.
Minister Dlamini Zuma is on a three-day
visit to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, leading a South African Government delegation
comprising senior officials from the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Education,
Agriculture, Health and Art and Culture officials including her political advisor,
Ms Tiny Maya.
The need for the creation of the Joint Bilateral Commission
was agreed to during the state visit to the Bahamas by President Thabo Mbeki in
December 2003. This was followed by the visit to South Africa in 2004 by Bahamian
Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell during which he signed the Bilateral Co-operation
Agreement with Minister Dlamini Zuma.
"During his state visit to the
Bahamas, President Mbeki , paid tribute to the role that your country had played
in the liberation struggle and expressed the wish that our two countries and peoples
strengthen their relations of co-operation and solidarity. Today, not even two
years later, we can say that our relations have reached a stage of maturity where
we are able to engage with each other on issues close to our hearts.
Minister Mitchell and I signed the Bilateral Co-operation Agreement in April 2004
in Pretoria, it was the first step towards the wish expressed by the leaders of
our respective nations for closer co-operation between our two countries. The
Agreement having entered into force on 9 August this year, now provides the legal
framework for collaboration in the areas of agriculture, arts and culture, education
and health" said Minister Dlamini Zuma.
It is the view of both the
South African and Bahamian Governments that the launch of the Joint Bilateral
Commission between the two countries will now become the driving force in the
conduct of bilateral relations and it is hoped will see additional collaboration
in other common fields of interest.
Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa
South African Mission- Bahamas
24 September 2005