Joint Communiqué issued at the conclusion of the 5th session of the Algeria – South Africa Bi-National Commission held in Algiers – Algeria from 25-26 May 2010
The 5th Session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) between the Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and the Government of the Republic of South Africa was held in Algiers, Algeria from 25 to 26 May 2010.
The Algerian delegation was led by His Excellency Mr Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and the South African delegation was led by His Excellency Mr Jacob Zuma President of the Republic of South Africa.
President Zuma used the occasion of his visit to lay a wreath at the Martyr Memorial Site in honour of the memory of the gallant combatants of the Algerian revolution. President Zuma also received in audience the Speaker of the Algerian Council of the Nation, Hon. Mr Abdelkader Bensalah, as well as the Prime Minister of Algeria, Hon. Mr Ahmed Ouyahia.
The 5th Session of the BNC was preceded by a Ministerial preparatory meeting in Pretoria held from 30 to 31 of March 2010, during which bilateral consultations were held within the context of the BNC’s Technical Working Groups (TWGs).
The two Presidents held private talks, which were later expanded to include members of both delegations.
During their talks, the two Heads of State hailed the excellent relations between Algeria and South Africa and expressed their satisfaction with the quality of the relations of friendship, solidarity and co-operation between the two countries. They also expressed their appreciation for the efforts aimed at strengthening the political and economic relations between the two countries. In this regard, they reiterated their commitment to further strengthen these links in view of the exemplary levels of cooperation and of the strategic partnership between the two countries.
The willingness for the enhancement of the economic relations between the two countries was consolidated by the Business Forum that was held in Algiers on 25 May 2010.
The two Heads of State noted with satisfaction that a Ministerial follow-up mechanism has been institutionalised to meet regularly to evaluate progress and to plan for the future sessions of the Binational Commission.
The two Heads of State witnessed the signing of the following agreements:
- The Nuclear Co-operation Agreement on the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy;
- Programme of Action on Sports and Recreation; and
- Memorandum of Understanding between the Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa (PetroSA) and Sonatrach.
They also witnessed the initialling of the three Memoranda of Understanding which will be signed later:
- Memorandum of Understanding on Labour and Social Security;
- Agreement on Cooperation in the Water Sector; and
- Executive Programme of Tourism Cooperation for the period 2010-2012.
The 5th Session of the BNC, which took place against the background of the 47th Africa Day, was an opportunity for both sides to reiterate their commitment to join their efforts for promoting peace, stability and economic development in the African continent.
The Heads of State welcomed the active role played by both countries in their respective regions for the promotion of peace, stability and good neighborliness. While noting the concerted efforts of African leaders to resolve African conflicts, they nevertheless emphasised the need for the strengthening of the AU’s existing capacity for conflict prevention, management and resolution.
They also noted with satisfaction the progress made in the enhancement and implementation of the African Union and the NEPAD objectives, to ensure socio-economic growth of the African countries.
The two Heads of State also discussed the latest developments with regard to the situation in Western Sahara. In this regard, they considered this as a decolinisation issue whose resolution should be based on the right of the self-determination for the people of Western Sahara through a referendum.
They further condemned the violation of human rights in the occupied territories of Western Sahara and called on the United Nations to assume its responsibilities regarding this issue, by setting up a mechanism for the protection of the Saharawi human rights.
Regarding the situation in the Middle East, the Heads of State reiterated their support for the pursuit of a just and lasting settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This will include providing the Palestinian people the right to establish their own statewith El Qods as the capital.
The Heads of State reaffirmed their commitment to combating international terrorism and pledged their support to reinforcing African efforts in this regard in cooperation with the international community.
Both Presidents strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and in all parts of the world and reiterated their support for the African Union and United Nations resolutions which criminalise the payment of ransoms. In view of the foregoing, President Zuma expressed South Africa’s support for the African Union Centre for the Study of Terrorism based in Algiers.
President Zuma congratulated Algeria for qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, while President Bouteflika renewed Algeria’s support to South Africa for the organisation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and expressed his conviction that this global event will be a great success that will uplift South Africa’s prestige as well as that of the African continent.
Note to Editors
President Zuma arrives back in South Africa early Thursday morning, 27 May 2010.
For more information: Vincent Magwenya 27 72 715 0024
Saul Molobi, DIRCO: 27 82 940 1647