South Africa – Burundi Joint Statement, August 12, 2011

1.  At the invitation of His Excellency Mr Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi, His Excellency Mr Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, paid a State Visit to the Republic of Burundi from 10 to 12 August 2011.

2.  On his arrival at the Bujumbura International Airport accompanied by a high level delegation, His Excellency Mr Jacob Zuma was welcomed by His Excellency Mr Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi, accompanied by a number of other high level Burundian personalities.

3.  During the visit, which was aimed at further strengthening the ties of friendship and cooperation that exist between Burundi and South Africa, the two Heads of State held substantive and fruitful one-on-one discussions on many issues of common interest at bilateral, regional and international level, followed by extended discussions during which ways of further strengthening the cooperation ties were addressed.

4.  The two Heads of State expressed their appreciation of 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 two Heads of State instructed their respective Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to convene the first meeting of the Burundi-South Africa Joint Cooperation Commission in 2012 in South Africa.

5.  His Excellency President Jacob Zuma commended the work done with dynamism and determination by His Excellency President Pierre Nkurunziza on reconstruction, reconciliation and the consolidation of peace and democracy.

6.  From his side, His Excellency Mr Pierre Nkurunziza commended the role that His Excellency President Jacob Zuma, and Their Excellencies Presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki played in the long negotiation process which restored peace to Burundi.

7.   The two Heads of State stressed the necessity of strengthening the regional integration organisations with a view to promoting peace, security, stability and sustainable development.

To this end, they strongly urged the international community to support the untiring role of the African Union to settle the socio-political crisis in some African countries such as Somalia.

8.  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.

9.  During his stay in the Republic of Burundi, His Excellency Mr Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, laid a wreath at the mausoleum of Prince Louis Rwagasore, National Independence Hero and at the Grave of His Excellency Melchior Ndadaye, Hero of Democracy.

President Zuma was also accorded the honour of addressing the joint sitting of the two chambers of the Burundi Parliament.

10.  The two Heads of State observed the signing of the following Cooperation Agreements between South Africa and Burundi:

  • The Agreement on Defence Cooperation;
  • The Agreement on Education Cooperation;
  • The Agreement on Bilateral Co-operation in the Agriculture and Livestock Sectors ;
  • The Memorandum of Understanding regarding Economic Cooperation.
  • The Agreement on Bilateral Co-operation in the Fields of Sports and Recreation.

They urged the relevant Ministers to take all necessary measures to implement the content of the Agreements.

11.  With a view to giving impetus to efforts to bolster trade and investment between the two countries, His Excellency Mr Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi, and His Excellency Mr Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, officially opened a round table between the business communities of Burundi and South Africa.

12.  His Excellency Mr Jacob Zuma travelled to the Tora area in Bururi Province where he visited a tea factory. He also visited the Musaga Logistics Barracks to see a venue for the destruction of small arms and light weapons.

13.  At the end of his visit to Burundi, His Excellency, Mr Jacob Zuma expressed deep gratitude to his Brother, His Excellency Mr Pierre Nkurunziza, to the Government and to the People of Burundi for the hospitality and warm welcome extended to him and to his delegation.

14.  His Excellency Mr Jacob Zuma took the opportunity to invite His Excellency Mr Pierre Nkurunziza to pay a reciprocal visit to the Republic of South Africa.  The invitation was accepted with pleasure and the date will be jointly agreed via diplomatic channels.

Done in Bujumbura, 12 August 2011


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