Deputy Minister Pahad to Pay Three Nation Visit to Europe, 17-22 October 2005

Tshwane - South African Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad will on Monday, 17 October 2005, depart for Europe on a three nation visit that will see him visit Switzerland, the United Kingdom and France scheduled from Tuesday - Friday, 18-21 October 2005.

This visit comes within the context of South Africa's objective to consolidate North-South relations to achieve the developmental agenda of Africa and other countries of the South.

In Switzerland, Deputy Minister Pahad will co-chair, together with his Swiss counterpart, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Michael Ambühl the annual meeting of the Working Group between both countries in Berne scheduled from Tuesday - Wednesday, 18-19 October 2005.

Deputy Minister Pahad and his Swiss counterpart Dr Michael Ambühl are expected to, during the Working Group meeting discuss the:

  • Status of bilateral and economic relations between the two countries;
  • Current developments in Africa and the EU;
  • Identify possible areas of co-operation in the context of the Declaration of Intent on Joint Co-operation in Africa, co-operation in the fields of trade, science & technology and development; and
  • Other issues of mutual interest including the reform of the United Nations and the Middle East Peace Process.

On conclusion of discussions in Berne, Deputy Minister Pahad will travel to London, where he is scheduled to hold discussions on Thursday, 20 October 2005 with Lord Triesman, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State; David Quarry, Prime Minister Blair's Policy Advisor on the Middle East; and John Sawers, Director-General for Political Affairs.

On Friday, 21 October 2005, Deputy Minister Pahad will hold discussions in Paris, France with his counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister in charge of Co-operation, Development and the Francophony Ms Girardin; Jean-Pierre Lafon, Secretary-General of the Foreign Ministry; Jean-Francois Thibault, Director for North Africa and the Middle East; Stanislas Lefevre de Laboulaye, Foreign Ministry Director for Political and Security Affairs; and Michel de Bonnecorse, Africa Advisor to President Chirac.

Issues on the agenda of discussions in London and Paris will include, among others:

  • Bilateral political and economic relations between the countries;
  • European support for the achievement of the African agenda; and
  • The European perspective of the situation in the Middle East, including Palestine and Israel, Iraq and Iran.

Deputy Minister Pahad is scheduled to return to South Africa on Saturday, 22 October 2005.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853.

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Tshwane
0001

16 October 2005

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