Minister Dlamini Zuma arrives in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Tuesday 10 May 2005

Abu Dhabi - South African Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma today, Tuesday, 10th May 2005 arrived in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates as part of a four nation visit to the Gulf States that will include, Abu Dhabi, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.Minister Dlamini Zuma was accompanied by Dr Anil Sooklal, Deputy Director General at the Department of Foreign Affairs responsible for the Middle East and Asia and other senior officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The visit is aimed at expanding the frontiers of trade, investment and tourism opportunities between South Africa, Middle East and Asia region. Minister Dlamini Zuma held discussions with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Information on:

* Assessment on the state of relations that exist between South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. Both Ministers agreed on the need to further consolidate existing trade and investment opportunities.
* Minister Dlamini Zuma indicated that South Africa had a lot of potential that needed to be harnessed and that "it was crucial to arrange for our business people to meet with their counterparts".

Both Ministers agreed that there were potential synergies that still lay untapped in the economies of both the United Arab Emirates and South Africa that needed to be expanded. In this regard, Minister Dlamini Zuma indicated the fields of manufacturing, services and the petroleum industry that needed to be explored for the benefit of both countries.

*Situation in the Middle East - Both Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring that a lasting solution be found in the resolution of the conflict in the M-E. Minister Dlamini Zuma reiterated South Africa's position that " peace in the Middle East will indeed contribute to peace in the world" and that " everything should be done to contribute to the peace process"

South Africa appraised the United Arab Emirates on its initiatives in the Middle East and further supported the ongoing engagements by the UAE in assisting both financially, morally and otherwise". Both Ministers agreed on the need to ensure that the Middle East region remains "prosperous, successful and stable for the benefit of all its people"

The Ministers exchanged views on non proliferation and disarmament issues. In this regard, Minister Dlamini Zuma indicated that " the existence of nuclear weapons always create tensions and potential dangers for humanity".
The situation in Sudan and especially, Darfur was also discussed.Initiatives currently undertaken by the African Union also received prominence in the discussions.

The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies - Minister Zuma pays a visit

Minister Dlamini Zuma was also a guest at the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research. The Center serves as a focal point for scholarship on Arab Gulf and UAE issues of strategic significance and assists decision makers in arriving at policy decisions.

At the end of the presentation by the ECSSR, Minister Dlamini Zuma expressed a keen interest in looking at ways of working together with the Centre in a mutual benefiting manner that will assist in initiatives aimed at consolidating the African Agenda and boosting economic ties between the two countries.

Wednesday, 11 May 2005

Abu Dhabi

African Ambassadors accredited in Abu Dhabi will have a breakfast meeting with Minister Dlamini Zuma and various bilateral meetings are scheduled between Minister Zuma and the following dignitaries:

* Bilateral meeting with Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

On conclusion of her engagements in Abu Dhabi, Minister Dlamini Zuma will proceed to Dubai.

In Dubai

* Courtesy call to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rahid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Minister of Defence.

Minister Dlamini Zuma will continue her engagement of broadening the base of knowledge that exists in the Gulf on South Africa by interacting with the Dubai based Gulf Research Centre. Members of the academic community and the media will share views with Minister Dlamini Zuma on a wide range of issues.

As part of her interactions with the business community in Dubai, Minister Dlamini Zuma will engage in discussions with the South African Business Council Executive Committee at a dinner function. The Business Council will appraise Minister Zuma on its objectives, the business environment in the UAE and on available business opportunities. Minister Dlamini Zuma will be expected to guide the Council on how best South Africa's private sector can engage in the environment presented by the UAE and other countries in the Gulf region.

For more information, contact Nomfanelo Kota on +27 82 459 3787
Issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag x 152

10 May 2005

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