Joint communiqué between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Benin
At the invitation of the President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency, Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, the President of the Republic Benin, His Excellency, President Boni Yayi, paid a State Visit to South Africa from 23 to 26 November 2011.
His Excellency, President Boni Yayi, arrived in South Africa on 23 November 2011 and was accompanied by a high - level delegation comprising of Ministers and Senior Government Officials.
During the visit, which was aimed at further strengthening the ties of friendship and cooperation that exist between South Africa and Benin, the two Heads of State held substantive and fruitful discussions on wide range of issues of common interest across bilateral, regional and international spectrum. The two Presidents assessed the relationship between the two countries and agreed on ways to further strengthening the bilateral ties.
The two Heads of State expressed appreciation for the excellent ties of friendship and cooperation which exist between their two countries and their two peoples and reaffirmed their willingness to further deepen them.
In this regard, the Presidents of South Africa and Benin instructed their respective Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation and of Foreign Affairs, African Integration, Francophony and Beninese Diaspora to elevate the level of consultation from Official Consultation at Senior Officials level to a Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC).
In the same vein, the Ministers of the two Countries signed the following Agreements and exchanged the Terms of Reference of the Committee of Defence:
The Memorandum of Understanding regarding Economic Co-operation;
Bilateral Air Services Agreement.
They instructed the relevant Ministers to take all necessary measures to implement the content of the above Memoranda of Understanding.
The two Heads of State expressed the necessity of strengthening the African Union (AU) and sub-regional organisations in Africa with a view to promoting peace, security, stability and sustainable development.
To this end, they strongly urged the international community to support the untiring efforts of the AU in settling the socio-political crisis in some African countries.
President Boni Yayi expressed his gratitude to President Jacob Zuma for his personal commitment, as well as within the framework of African Union mandates, to the peace settlement of political crises on the African continent, notably in Libya and Cote d’ Ivoire.
On the international arena, the two Heads of State reaffirmed the necessity to introduce, without further delay, reforms within the United Nations System, particularly with regard to the Security Council.
They called for the establishment of a new world economic order which would take into account the interests of the poor countries in order to narrow the ever-growing gap between the poor and the rich.
During his stay in the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency, Dr. Boni Yayi, President of the Republic of Benin, among other activities, laid a wreath at the Gugulethu Seven Memorial.
President Boni Yayi also held extensive meetings with South African business leaders with the objective of enhancing trade and investment between South Africa and Benin.
In this regards, President Boni Yayi appealed to South African business and investors to visit Benin and discover opportunities offered by his country and its economic potentials and assets.
At the end of his visit to South Africa, His Excellency, Dr. Boni Yayi, expressed deep gratitude to his Brother, His Excellency, Mr Jacob Zuma, to the Government and to the People of South Africa for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to him and to his delegation.
His Excellency, President Boni Yayi, took the opportunity to invite His Excellency, Mr Jacob Zuma, to pay a reciprocal visit to the Republic of Benin. The invitation was accepted with pleasure and the date will be jointly agreed via diplomatic channels.