Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad met US Congressman Howard Berman in Pretoria, Thursday 3 July 2008

Pretoria - Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Aziz Pahad today, Thursday 3 July 2008,  hosted a 7 member US Congressional Delegation (CODEL) led by Congressman Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The delegation also included long standing friends of South Africa, such as Congressmen Donald Payne (Chairperson of the House Sub-committee on Africa and Global Health), George Miller, Edward Royce, Thomas Davis, Jim Costa and Congresswoman Linda Sánchez.  The meeting discussed SA-US bilateral relations, regional issues and the PEPFAR Reauthorization bill.

Deputy Minister Pahad thanked the US and acknowledged with gratitude the role of Congressman Berman and his congressional colleagues for the initiation and passing of the Anti-apartheid Visa Bill, which was signed into law by President Bush two days ago.

The Bill authorizes the US government to lift the stigma against South Africa members of the liberation movement wishing to travel to the US. The delegation expressed great pleasure in having the opportunity to visit South Africa and to interact with various stakeholders.

The delegation also highlighted the PEPFAR Reauthorization Bill for USD50 billion. Deputy Minister Pahad expressed appreciation to the delegation for their continued support for South Africa and in particular, encouraged the delegation to continue to support Africa in its efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa at 082-990-4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
P/Bag X152

3 July 2008.

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