President Jacob Zuma has arrived in Nouakchott in Mauritania on a working visit in his capacity as a member of the African Union High‐Level Panel for the Resolution of the Crisis in Côte d'Ivoire.

The High‐Level Panel was established by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at the Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in Addis Ababa on 28 January 2011.

The Panel first met on 31 January 2011, to determine its programme of work.

It is chaired by His Excellency Mr Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.

The Team of Experts appointed by the panel, will submit its findings to the members of the High‐Level Panel at a preparatory meeting to be held in Nouakchott.

The Panel will thereafter travel to Côte d’Ivoire to meet with the parties and submit proposals for a resolution.

The High-Level Panel AU panel, represents the five Regions of the Continent and is composed of the leaders of Burkina Faso (West Africa), Chad (Central Africa), Mauritania (North Africa), South Africa (Southern Africa), and Tanzania (East Africa).

The Panel is expected to conclude its work before the end of February and report back to the AU Peace and Security Council.

President Zuma is optimistic that a solution will be found to the impasse. “South Africa will assist in any way possible to help the people of Cote d’Ivoire to find a solution. We look forward to fruitful discussions with the affected parties in Abidjan this week,’’ said President Zuma on arrival.
 
The President will return to South Africa on 22 February 2011. The President is supported by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperarition Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

Enquiries:  Clayson Monyela, Public Diplomacy, Department of International Relations and Cooperation on 082 884 5974
 
Pretoria

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