President Thabo Mbeki concludes visit to Lesotho for the SADC Summit

Maseru - President Thabo Mbeki will later today, Friday 18 August 2006, conclude his visit to Lesotho, where he led a high-powered government delegation to the SADC Heads of State and Government Summit held in Maseru from Thursday-Friday 17-18 August 2006.

President Mbeki's delegation included Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel, Minister of Trade and Industry Mandisi Mpahlwa, Minister of Agriculture Lulu Xingwana and senior government officials

South Africa's participation in the SADC Heads of State and Government Summit comes within the context of its stated commitment to consolidate the African agenda through among others the strengthening of SADC institutions.

Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma had earlier in the week led a South African Ministerial delegation to the SADC Council of Ministers meeting from Tuesday - Wednesday, 15-16 August 2006 to prepare for the SADC Heads of State and Government Summit.

The SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government was expected to discuss among others:
· Elections in the region particularly the post-election situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo;
· The implementation of the SADC integration agenda;
· Progress on the Financing, Design and Construction of the new SADC Headquarters;
· Review the regional situation with regard to:
· Economic and Social situation;
· Agriculture and Food Security;
· Gender;
· HIV and Aids;
· The African Union including the implementation of NEPAD and a progress report on the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);
· Preparations for the International Conference on Poverty Alleviation; and
· Receive reports from the:
· Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation.

President Mbeki and his delegation are expected to return to South Africa on Friday, 18 August 2006.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4863

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

18 August 2006

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