Communiqué on the 1st Ministerial Meeting of the Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation (JPCC) between South Africa and Botswana, 13 October 2005, Pretoria

  1. At the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Botswana, HE Lt Gen MS Merafhe, visited South Africa on 13 October 2005 for the 1st Ministerial Meeting of the Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation between South Africa and Botswana.

  2. Minister Merafhe was accompanied by Botswana's High Commissioner to South Africa and Consul General to Johannesburg, as well as other senior officials.

  3. Minister Dlamini Zuma was accompanied by South Africa's High Commissioner to Botswana and senior officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

  4. Minister Dlamini Zuma welcomed Minister Merafhe and his delegation to South Africa, and reiterated South Africa's commitment to close fraternal relations with Botswana. Discussions were held in a friendly and constructive manner. Both Parties noted with satisfaction the excellent relations between the two countries, and the fact that their meeting took place shortly before the first State Visit to South Africa by President Mogae. Minister Dlamini Zuma noted that during President Mbeki's visit to Botswana in March 2003, President Mbeki became the first foreign Head of State to address Botswana's Parliament. Minister Dlamini Zuma once again thanked Botswana for this singular honour.

  5. The Heads of Delegation reaffirmed their intention to work towards the further strengthening of bilateral relations, as well as to intensify the close co-operation between the two countries for the future well-being of both their peoples, and for the benefit of the African continent as a whole.

  6. The Heads of Delegation noted that while relations have been cordial since South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994, the signing of the agreement on the Joint Permanent Cooperation Commission by the Presidents in 2003 laid the legal and institutional framework to consolidate and deepen the relationship.

  7. The Parties noted that since the establishment of the JPCC, agreements on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and in the Field of Science and Technology Cooperation had been signed. The Parties further noted that several additional agreements were being prepared for signature during the forthcoming State Visit by President Mogae,

  8. The Heads of Delegation noted the report of the meeting of Senior Officials which took place in Gaborone from 27 to 28 September 2005, which was attended by officials from several departments of both countries. Officials reported on progress on several matters in the following areas:

    Economic issues
    Social issues
    Local government
    Security and stability
    Strategic Foreign Policy issues

  9. The Ministers urged officials to ensure that some of the long outstanding matters are resolved speedily, in order to allow the Parties to focus on strategic issues.

  10. Minister Dlamini Zuma expressed South Africa's pleasure at Botswana's taking over chair of SADC at the Summit in August 2005. She further indicated that South Africa looked forward to Botswana's leadership, and assured Botswana of South Africa support in key issues identified by President Mogae in his acceptance speech at the Summit.

  11. The two Heads of Delegation renewed their commitment to actively participate in programmes and mechanisms of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) as the basis for the development of the continent.

  12. The Parties discussed regional and multilateral developments, in particular the reform of the United Nations institutions. The Ministers agreed to continue collaborating closely in their in efforts in these matters.

  13. Minister Merafhe expressed Botswana's appreciation of the role South Africa was playing in conflict resolution on the continent, eg in Cote d' Ivoire.

Pretoria, 13 October 2005

Issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

13 October 2005

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