Notes following Briefing between Deputy President Jacob Zuma and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Media Centre, Union Buildings, Pretoria
Thursday, 3 March 2005

Comments by Deputy President Jacob Zuma

  • Let me express my appreciation in welcoming the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has come to South Africa at my invitation.
  • As you know, I visited Turkey two years ago at the invitation of Prime Minister Erdogan.
  • We had a very fruitful visit based on fruitful discussions.
  • I am very thankful that the Prime Minister has been able to visit South Africa with such a big delegation of government and private sector representatives.
  • Ministers on both sides have also met and had discussions while the Prime Minister and I have had one-on-one discussions. The Prime Minister and I then joined our ministers where we continued the discussions.
  • We discussed regional issues and those of global interest.
  • We have consensus on many positions with regard to regional and global issues.
  • We both believe that consolidated relations will be very good for Africa considering that Turkey has nominated 2005 as the Year for Africa.
  • I'm very pleased with the outcomes of this visit and believe this visit has gone a long way to consolidating our relations. I am certain our relations will be deepened through this visit.

Comments by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

  • Thank you my dear colleague.
  • Yes, indeed this warn relationship began in 2003 when you visited Turkey and has indeed turned into a very fresh breeze.
  • Africa is very important for Turkey which has a multi-dimensional focus on foreign policy.
  • Turkey, since 1998, has striven to expand relations with Africa. In this regard, 2005 has been nominated the Year of Africa.
  • As you know, I am accompanied by a delegation comprising Ministers, Members of Parliament and business representatives.
  • I believe this visit will lead to the consolidation of relations between both countries especially with regard to implementation of decisions by various ministries following ministerial discussions on both sides.
  • The Deputy President and myself have discussed various issues with regard to opportunities for co-operation bilaterally and multilaterally.
  • We have also discussed initiatives for political co-operation.
  • We greatly appreciate efforts of the Deputy President in consolidating the continental initiative of NEPAD.
  • We believe we can support NEPAD through joint venture partnerships.
  • We have asked for South Africa's support with regard to obtaining observer status at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
  • We also discussed Cyprus an the latest developments with regard to this issue - we have reiterated that we favour a solution based on the UN proposal.
  • Economic issues were discussed by our Ministers - especially the Ministers of Energy and Natural Resources and Transport. We foresee joint ventures in this regard.
  • Bilateral trade between both countries currently amounts to US$1.2 billion - mostly in South Africa's favour - we believe that South Africa will attempt to address this positively.
  • When one looks at globalisation, we see our relations as being very close - no country is far away at the moment. In this regard, we see that our bilateral foreign trade can be increased quite easily.
  • We also see that we can co-operate with South Africa regarding preparations for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
  • We also see ourselves co-operating more fully on cultural and educational issues.

Questions and Answers

Question Prime Minister Erdogan, we understand that when the Deputy President visited Turkey in 2003 an agreement was reached with regard to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Has there been any progress in this regard?

Answer (Prime Minister Erdogan) We have always indicated that we are ready to participate in initiatives for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We will not be involved in using nuclear energy to encourage conflicts.

The cost of energy is a very important factor these days - those who can provide energy at the smallest cost are dominant in the competition.

(Deputy President Zuma) In this regard, the Minister and Deputy Minister of Minerals and Energy are establishing a working group that would concretise the way forward on this matter.

Question Prime Minister and Deputy President, did you discuss co-operation in the field of mining - especially gold and ferrochrome mining.

Answer (Deputy President Zuma) Yes, the matter was discussed amongst ourselves. However, like I said earlier, the Minister and Deputy Minister of Minerals and Energy will form a working group to look at this matter in greater detail.

Question Deputy President, what initiatives are being undertaken with regard to the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots?

Answer (Deputy President Zuma) I have been fully briefed by Prime Minister Erdogan on this matter. He has explained in great detail the process following discussions with the United Nations Secretary General and others. These elements were factored into the referendum held recently. We fully support Prime Minister Erdogan's initiatives and favour a solution in terms of the UN plan. Now that we have been fully briefed, we will support the process where we can.

Question Prime Minister, can you explain your renewed interest with regard to the Non-Aligned Movement?

Answer (Prime Minister Erdogan) South Africa holds a very different status in NAM and has set an example with regard to democratisation.

Turkey would like to be involved in all multilateral fora where possible in order to share and gain experience.

Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria
0001

3 March 2005

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa