President Thabo Mbeki Congratulates Angela Merkel on her Inauguration as German Chancellor

Abidjan - South African President Thabo Mbeki today, Tuesday 22 November 2005, extended South Africa's congratulations to Angela Merkel on her historic inauguration as the first woman Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.

In a message of support to Chancellor Merkel, President Mbeki said, "on behalf of the government and people of South Africa, please accept our warmest congratulations on your inauguration as the first woman Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.

"Your inauguration to the Chancellery is a watershed moment for the German population in general and women in particular, and it communicates the unequivocal progressive message of Germany's willingness to lead and set a clear positive example for the global community to emulate especially on issues of gender, and women's rights."

"In addition, the South African government affirms the cordial relations between South Africa and Germany and looks forward to further strengthening its bilateral relations with your country."

"In this regard, South Africa has noted and welcomed Germany's support for the New Partnership for Africa's Developments (NEPAD) and the African Union (AU) that enable the African continent to unlock its great potential for economic, social and political regeneration."

"The principled stance Germany has taken in the ongoing global attempts to restructure the world multilateral fora like the UN in order to enable it to respond adequately and effectively to the challenges of the 21st Century, is of prime importance to Africa and indeed the world at large. South Africa wishes Germany well in the consolidation of her efforts for both African and global benefit."

"Germany is an important and strategic partner of South Africa in our efforts to ensure that Africa and the South position themselves in a rightful manner to assume their legitimate place on the world's stage. We therefore have enormous appreciation for Germany's continued support," concluded President Mbeki.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

22 November 2005

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