Final Statement on the Occasion of the State Visit to Gabon
of his Excellency Mr Thabo Mbeki, President of the Republic of South Africa, Libreville,
on 2 and 3 August 2005
At the invitation of His Excellency EL HADJ OMAR
BONGO ONDIMBA, President of the Republic of Gabon, Head of State, His Excellency
THABO MBEKI, President of the Republic of South Africa, paid a State Visit to
the Republic of Gabon on 2 and 3 August 2005.
President MBEKI was accompanied
by Mr J Radebe, Minister of Transport; Mr M Mpahlwa, Minister of Trade and Industry;
Ms N Pandor, Minister of Education; Dr P Jordan, Minister of Arts and Culture;
senior government officials; and business leaders representing various sectors
of the South African economy.
President THABO MBEKI's visit focused on the
exchanging of points of view on major developments taking place both in Africa
and outside the continent; as well as the strengthening of the bilateral cooperation
between the two countries.
During their private discussion, the two Heads
of State reviewed issues of common interest at the bilateral, sub-regional, regional
and international levels.
In this regard, the two Presidents expressed satisfaction
with the state of cooperation between their countries, and urged their Ministers
to further intensify cooperation in all fields as provided for in the General
Cooperation Agreement signed in Libreville on 26th November 2003 by the two countries.
a concrete demonstration of the desire by both countries to forge closer ties,
the following agreements were signed during President MBEKI's visit:
Agreement on the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments;
Merchant Shipping Agreement;
- The Agreement in the field of Education,
Training and Higher Education; and
- The Agreement in the field of Arts
The two Heads of State welcomed the signing of these
Agreements and expressed the hope that they will facilitate and increase the volume
of two way trade and investment and contribute towards the intensification of
cooperation in the fields of education, arts and culture.
At the sub-regional
level, Presidents THABO MBEKI and OMAR BONGO ONDIMBA expressed satisfaction with
the transitional process in the Central African Republic, which led to successful
elections. They emphasised that this positive development has laid a firm foundation
for the restoration of constitutionality and legitimacy in this sister country.
MBEKI welcomed the support that the Heads of State of the Economic Community of
Central African States (CEMAC) are lending to the transitional process currently
underway in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The two Heads of State invited all
parties involved in the process to spare no effort in maintaining a climate of
peace and stability in this brother country.
With regard to the situation
in Burundi, the two Presidents expressed their satisfaction with the process of
building national reconciliation and national unity, and the restoration of democracy.
They took note of the free and fair, transparent and peaceful manner in which
the legislative and municipal elections were conducted. They also noted that these
conditions are favourable for the holding of Presidential elections.
the situation in Cote d'Ivoire, President OMAR BONGO ONDIMBA congratulated President
MBEKI for his mediation efforts which resulted in the signing of the Pretoria
Agreement on 6 April 2005 and the Pretoria Declaration on 29 June 2005, which
has paved the way for the implementation of the disarmament process and the holding
of the forthcoming Presidential elections. The two Presidents called on all parties
to the Ivorian conflict to implement all existing commitments.
the global situation, Presidents BONGO ONDIMBA and MBEKI expressed their satisfaction
with the outcomes of the recent G8 Summit held in Gleneagles, Scotland. In particular
they welcomed the cancellation of 100% of the multilateral debts of Highly Indebted
Poor Countries (HIPC), the increase in aid, and measures to be taken by developed
countries in assisting African countries to combat malaria.
urged the international community to continue tackling the main obstacles to development
such as the granting of agricultural subsidies to farmers in developed countries,
market access for products from, poor countries and foreign direct investment.
In this regard, they stressed the need to place the Doha Development Round at
the centre of the global trade agenda.
With regards to the reform of the
UN, the two Heads of State reaffirmed their determination to work for the successful
implementation of the AU Declaration on the Reform of the United Nations.
THABO MBEKI and EL HADJ OMAR BONGO ONDIMBA expressed their deep concern at the
renewed violence in the conflict between Israel and Palestine. They called on
the two Parties to show restraint and use dialogue, as the only answer to attaining
a durable and peaceful settlement to the Middle East crisis.
The two Heads
of States expressed their profound sympathy with the governments and people of
Egypt and England following the recent spate of bombings in both the resort city
of Sharm El Sheihk and the city of London. They also deplored the assassination
of two Algerian diplomats in Baghdad recently.
Presidents THABO MBEKI and
EL HADJ OMAR BONGO ONDIMBA also expressed deep shock on the sad news of the untimely
death of Mr John GARANG, Vice President of the Republic of Sudan who died in an
airplane crash. They called on all parties to exercise maximum restraint during
this difficult period and forge ahead with the implementation of the Comprehensive
Peace Agreement (CPA).
They also conveyed their most sincere sympathy to
the government and peoples of Saudi Arabia on the sad passing away of His Majesty
At the end of his stay, President THABO MBEKI expressed his gratitude
to the Head of State, the Government and People of Gabon for the warm, cordial
welcome and hospitality extended to him and his delegation.
President THABO MBEKI extended an invitation for President OMAR BONGO ONDIMBA
to pay an official visit to South Africa. The Head of State of Gabon accepted
the invitation, the date of which will be fixed through diplomatic channels.
in Libreville, on 3 August 2005.
Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
4 August 2005