Joint Communique Issued at the End of the State Visit of His Excellency Mr Thabo Mbeki, President of the Republic of South Africa, to the Republic of Congo, Brazzaville, 1 December 2005

At the invitation of His Excellency Mr Denis SASSOU N'GUESSO, President of the Republic of Congo, His Excellency Mr THABO MBEKI, President of the Republic of South Africa, paid a State Visit to the Republic of Congo from November 30 to December 1st, 2005.

President THABO MBEKI was accompanied by his Spouse, the First Lady of the Republic of South Africa, Madam Zanele MBEKI and senior members of the South African Government most notably: Mr JT RADEBE, Minister of Transport; Mr. ZP JORDAN, Minister of Arts and Culture; Mr M MPAHLWA, Minister of Trade and Industry; and Ms S Van Der MERWE, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In addition to the above President MBEKI was accompanied by a business delegation representing the following sectors: Mining, Telecommunications, Energy, Transport, Agriculture, Construction, Health, Tourism, Security and Information Technology.

The Congolese delegation was led by His Excellency Mr Denis SASSOU N'GUESSO accompanied by the following senior members of the Congolese Government: Mr. Rodolphe ADADA, Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Francophonie; Mr. Pacifique ISSOIBEKA, Minister of the Economy, Finance and Budget; Mr. Pierre OBA, Minister of Mines, Mining Industries and Geology; Mr. André OKOMBI SALISSA, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation; Mr. Justin BALLAY-MEGOT, Minister in the Presidency, in charge of Cooperation and Development; Madame Adelaïde MOUNDELE-NGOLO, Minister of Commerce, Consumption and Provisioning; and Mr. Alphonse GANDO, Minister of Health and Population.

On the occasion of this State Visit the Delegations of the Republic of South Africa and of the Republic of Congo held discussions during which they reviewed bilateral and multilateral issues. With regards to bilateral cooperation, President THABO MBEKI and President Denis SASSOU NGUESSO expressed their satisfaction with the cooperation programmes between their two countries and reaffirmed their desire to strengthen the historic ties of solidarity, friendship and cooperation. They noted with satisfaction the conclusion of several cooperation agreements in a wide range of sectors.

In reviewing the international situation, the two Heads of State reaffirmed the centrality of the United Nations in the preservation of peace and security in the resolution of disputes.

President THABO MBEKI congratulated the Republic of Congo on its election to the Security Council as a Non-Permanent member, and the two Heads of State agreed to coordinate their positions, strategies, and tactics to enable the Congo to fulfil its mandate successfully.

The two Heads of State expressed their satisfaction with the outcomes of the Jakarta Summit and stressed the importance of South South Cooperation as articulated in the Africa-Asia Partnership. In this context President SASSOU-NGUESSO commended the role played by South Africa in the preparation and the success of the Africa-Asia Summit.

They noted with satisfaction the outcomes of the 1st Summit on the Great Lakes and expressed hope that the 2nd Summit to be held in Nairobi will adopt a comprehensive package on stability, security and development in the Great Lakes region. The two Head of States lauded progress made by the African Union during its nascent stage in promoting the political unity, cohesion and economic integration.

With regards to peace and security issues on the African continent the two Heads of State reviewed a number of situations. Concerning Cote d'Ivoire, President SASSOU NGUESSO commended President MBEKI's mediation efforts. The two Heads of State called on the parties to the Ivorian conflict to honour all the provisions of existing agreements and to respect the resolutions of the AU and UN. Concerning the Democratic Republic of Congo the two Heads of State reiterated their support for efforts deployed by the Transitional National Government in creating conditions favourable to the holding of elections in the DRC during 2006.

Concerning the situation in the Sudan the two Heads of State urged all parties to the conflict to desist from any action that would undermine efforts deployed by the AU in finding a peaceful and durable solution to this crisis.

President MBEKI congratulated President SASSOU NGUESSO for his role and that of the Republic of Congo in resolving the crisis in Sao Tome and Principe and in supporting efforts to stabilise the situation in the Central African Republic

The two Heads of State congratulated Mrs. ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF, President elect of the Republic of Liberia on her historic victory. In the same vein they congratulated the heroic people of Liberia for the
manner in which they conducted themselves during this election.

During his visit President MBEKI was accorded the honour of addressing a joint sitting of the National Assembly of the Republic of Congo.

President MBEKI was honoured in a solemn ceremony during which he was awarded a Congolese Order of Merit bestowing upon him the Grand Cross by his Congolese counterpart.

Finally, the two Heads of State witnessed the signature of the following Agreements:

  • Protocol on regular diplomatic consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Francophony of the Republic of Congo and the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa;
  • Memorandum of Understanding on the implementation of cultural cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Congo and the Government of the Republic of South Africa;
  • Agreement on health matters between the Government of the Republic of Congo and the Government of the Republic of South Africa;
  • Trade Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Congo and the Government of the Republic of South Africa;
  • Agreement on the promotion and reciprocal protection of investments between the Government of the Republic of Congo and the Government of the Republic of South Africa.
    The two Heads of State expressed their satisfaction with the warm and cordial atmosphere which characterised their discussions, and enabled them to reach satisfactory outcomes. They reiterated their desire to evolve a dynamic relationship in order to achieve the highest levels of cooperation.

At the end of his State Visit, His Excellency President THABO MBEKI expressed his profound gratitude to the Government and People of the Congo for the kind welcome accorded to him and his delegation. He extended an invitation to His Excellency President SASSOU NGUESSO to pay a reciprocal visit to the Republic of South Africa

The invitation was accepted, and the date of the visit will be determined through the diplomatic channel.

Done in Brazzaville, December 1st, 2005

 

FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CONGOFOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs

Private Bag X152
Tshwane
0001

1 December 2005

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa