South Africa Commemorates 60th Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings

Tshwane - President Thabo Mbeki, today Saturday, 6 August 2005, joins world leaders, in expressing solidarity and sympathy with the peoples and cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in marking the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that left thousands of innocent men, women and children killed, maimed and injured during World War II.

President Mbeki says, "Today, the international community bows its head in respect and solemnly recalls the 60th anniversary of the tragic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

"The tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 60 years ago, made a huge impact on the people's of South Africa. Despite our own struggle against the vicious system of apartheid, they marked this day over the decades in commemoration of that great tragedy."

"The people of South Africa campaigned vigorously for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. We are very pleased that South Africa voluntarily dismantled its nuclear weapons capability and committed itself to the opposition of all weapons of mass destruction during South Africa's democratisation."

"South Africa today reaffirms its commitment to work with the people of Japan and the international community in creating a nuclear free world and safe global environment."

"We owe it to the memory of all the victims of the atomic bombings to build a global society based on the enduring values of peace, tolerance, understanding and the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction," concluded President Mbeki.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853
Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

6 August 2005


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