President Thabo Mbeki Congratulates Mahmoud Abbas on Election as President

Pretoria - President Thabo Mbeki today, Monday - 10 January 2005 - extended South Africa's congratulations to Mahmoud Abbas on his election as President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) following elections held on Sunday, 9 January 2005.

President Mbeki said, "Your Excellency, please accept my congratulations on your election as President of the PNA. Surely, your election by the people of Palestine through the successful democratic election indicates their confidence in you as their leader."

"I believe that this electoral mandate will contribute to the creation of conditions conducive to the resumption of the Peace Process and the implementation of the Road Map."

"The South African Government and its people joins the international community in commending the Palestinian people for conducting the presidential elections in a dignified and democratic manner under the difficult and unique circumstances of ongoing Israeli occupation."

"We reaffirm to you and the newly democratically elected Palestinian leadership our support and recommit ourselves to the goals of assisting the establishment of a sovereign Palestine, living side by side with Israel, within secure borders. We call on the international community to support the Peace Process and encourage an end to the current impasse between Israel and Palestine

"May I take this opportunity on behalf of the government and people of South Africa to also express our best wishes for Your Excellency's continued good health and prosperity," concluded President Mbeki.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853.
Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
10 January 2005


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