Joint press release following the 8th South Africa-Cuba Joint Consultative Mechanism
29 July 2010

Deputy Minister of International Relations and cooperation, Mr Ebrahim Ebrahim, led the South African delegation to the 8th meeting of the South Africa-Cuba Joint Consultative Mechanism (JCM) held in Pretoria on 28 July 2010. The Deputy Minister expressed his gratitude to the government of Cuba for its participation in what is considered an important forum to exchange views on global issues. He further thanked the Cubans for their tremendous support for the government’s 5 key priorities, particularly in the area of health.

The Cuban 1st Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Marcelino Medina, co-chaired the 8th JCM and expressed his government’s gratitude to South Africa for hosting this important meeting and the disposition of Cuba to support joint efforts in favour of the development of relations between Cuba and South Africa, as well as the African Continent.

The annual political, bilateral and multilateral meeting took place against the background of 16 years of diplomatic relations between South Africa and Cuba, a strategic partner in Latin America and the Caribbean. The discussions afforded both delegations the opportunity to interact and engage with each other on a range of issues of mutual interest.  

The forum was also utilised to discuss developments in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean Regions. Time was devoted to focussing on common positions in the multilateral arena, and to address issues of mutual concern.

The Cuban Deputy Minister expressed his government’s appreciation for South Africa’s long-standing support in the United Nations General Assembly to the Resolution entitled, “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”. In this respect, the unanimous support of all members at the 15th Summit of the African Union, held in Kampala, was acknowledged.

Deputy Minister Ebrahim thanked the Cuban government for its ongoing commitment and support to South Africa through the provision of Cuban specialists to assist South Africa in delivering services to its people, and in particular for its contribution to skills development and capacity provided through the scholarships offered to young South Africans in the fields of medicine, sport and education.

The Meeting agreed that the annual JCM between the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation and the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains a useful forum in exchanging positions and views on a wide range of topics and concluded that Cuba will host the next round of talks in 2011.

On 29 July 2010, in the framework of the Joint Consultative Mechanism (JCM) Meeting, a meeting was also held to evaluate progress on joint projects. Both delegations expressed their satisfaction with regard to the excellent bilateral relations as manifested through the numerous cooperation opportunities, notably in the social cluster, and looked forward to expanding cooperation to new areas.

For further information please contact Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Kgomotso Saul Molobi on 082 940 1647 / molobis@dirco.gov.za

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

460 Soutpansberg
Rietondale
Pretoria
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29 July 2010

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