Deputy President of the Republic, H. E. Kgalema Motlanthe, to lead a South African Delegation to the 2nd Afro-Arab Summit to be held in Sirte, Libya, from 6 to 11 October 2010

The Deputy President of the Republic, H.E. Kgalema Motlanthe, will lead the South African delegation to the Second Afro-Arab Summit which will be held in Sirte, Great Arab Libyan Jamahiriya that will be held on 10 October 2010 – the second since 1977. The Summit will be preceded by the Joint Afro-Arab Ministerial Meeting which will be held on 8 October 2010 and the High Level Officials Meeting on 6 October 2010. The Summit is expected to bring together Heads of State and Government of sixty-six African and Arab Countries.

Held under the theme: “Afro-Arab Cooperation: Towards a Strategic Partnership”, the Summit is aimed at enhancing cooperation prospects between the African Continent and the Arab world as well as consolidating their geographical ties, common history and mutual interests. The four key priorities of the Summit include Political, Peace and Security Cooperation, Economic and Financial Cooperation, Agriculture and Food Security Development and Socio-Cultural Cooperation. It is expected that the Summit will adopt a new Plan of Action which will replace the ‘Declaration and Program of Action on Afro-Arab Cooperation’ adopted by the First Afro-Arab Summit, held in Cairo, Egypt from 7-9 March 1977

This Summit testifies that the African and Arab States are committed to revitalizing their political and economic co-operation since their first summit in Cairo more than three decades ago. African and Arab states share strong bilateral political relations since many countries belong to both the African Union (AU) and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) of which South Africa is a member. These states are committed to strengthening their economic relations to ensure these reflect the strong political relations already in place.

South Africa has been invited to participate in Arab League meetings as an observer. African and Arab states share similar developmental challenges including, inter alia, the improvement of living conditions of all their peoples in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), climate change and energy security. SADC and the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) have in recent years strengthened relations between both blocs. This can provide the impetus for greater co-operation between Arab and African countries.

The AU supports peace in the Middle East as crucial, not only for the peoples and countries of the region, but also for international peace and security and at the 7th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council in Uganda it reiterated its full support to the Palestinian people for their legitimate struggle against Israeli Occupation.

South Africa prioritises peace and security, domestically and internationally, seeing it as a precursor to economic and social development, for itself, the continent and indeed developing countries throughout the world.

Afro-Arab co-operation falls within the framework of common action by all developing countries in order to increase co-operation among themselves, on the one hand, and on the other, to intensify efforts to establish a new, fairer and more equitable international economic order. South Africa remains committed to the consolidation of the African agenda and supports multilateral and bilateral co-operation, with a view to ensuring a better Africa and a better world for all who live in it.

Deputy President Motlanthe will be accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Ebrahim I. Ebrahim; South Africa’s Ambassador to Libya, Mr Mohammed Dangor; and senior government officials.

For more information, please contact the Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Mr Saul Kgomotso Molobi on 082 940 1647, +27 12 351 0083 or e-mail him at molobisk@dirco.gov.za.

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
OR Tambo Building

Soutpansberg Road
RIETONDALE
Pretoria, RSA
0002

5 October 2010


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