Joint Communiqué between the Minster of Foreign Affairs
of the Republic of South Africa, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and the Deputy Minster
of Foreign Affairs, Co-operation and Francophony of the Republic of Gabon, Mr
Jean-Francois Ndongou 22 March 2005 Pretoria South Africa
visit by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa, Dr Nkosazana
Dlamini Zuma, to Gabon in November 2003, senior officials of the two countries
met in Pretoria, South Africa, on 28 and 29 October 2004. Various areas of possible
co-operation were discussed on this occasion. At the end of the meeting, four
agreements were initialed.
At the invitation of the Minister of Foreign
Affairs of the Republic of South Africa, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the Deputy
Minister to the Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Co-operation and
Francophony of the Republic of Gabon, His Excellency Mr Jean-Francois Ndongou,
visited South Africa on 21 and 22 March 2005. The purpose of the visit was to
strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries and to sign the Agreements
initialed in 2004.
The two Ministers of Foreign Affairs expressed their
satisfaction with the co-operation that exists between the Republic of South Africa
and the Republic of Gabon, and agreed on the need to increase the volume of trade
and investment between the two countries.
In this regard, they strongly
expressed their wish that the signing of the Trade Agreement and the Convention
for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with
Respect to Income Tax will lead to increased trade between the two countries.
Ministers also used the opportunity to exchange views on a wide range of developments
on the African continent.
Both Ministers expressed their satisfaction with
progress regarding the operationalisation of the African Union (AU) and its various
institutions. The Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation
of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) as the continent's programme
for socio-economic development.
They further agreed to share experiences
and information on institutions developed in their respective countries for the
implementation of NEPAD. Minister Dlamini Zuma welcomed the accession of Gabon
to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and wished the country well.
Jean-François Ndongou conveyed the support of His Excellency President
El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba, President of the Republic of Gabon, for the mediation
efforts by His Excellency President T M Mbeki and expressed the hope that a speedy
resolution will be found to the crisis in Cote D'Ivoire.
Zuma, on behalf of His Excellency President T M Mbeki, congratulated his Gabonese
brother and friend, His Excellency President El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba, for his
steadfast efforts to resolve the situation in the Central African Republic, which
recently resulted in successful presidential elections.
The two Ministers
welcomed the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (PCA) between the Government
of Sudan and the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM), and expressed the
hope that a speedy resolution will be found to the ongoing conflict in the Darfur
region of Sudan.
In reviewing the situation in the Great Lakes Region, both
Ministers welcomed the successful conclusion of the referendum in Burundi and
observed that the historic elections scheduled to take place in June 2005 will
be a watershed in the history of this brotherly country. In the same breath, both
Ministers reaffirmed their support for the ongoing transitional process in the
The Ministers also received reports from senior officials in various
The two Ministers concluded their discussions by adopting the recommendations
made in the meeting between senior officials. The Ministers then signed the following
· Protocol for Regular Diplomatic Consultations
· Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and
the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income
Dlamini Zuma thanked the Gabonese Minister for visiting South Africa and wished
him a safe journey to Gabon.
Minister Ndongou reiterated his gratitude
to the Government of the Republic of South Africa for the latter's hospitality
and the spirit of co-operation that prevailed during the discussions.
in Pretoria on this 22nd day of March 2005