Press Release

20 September 2012

President Jacob Zuma congratulates the new Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Mr Hailemariam Desalegn

On behalf of the Government and the People of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency President Jacob Zuma has congratulated the new Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Mr Hailemariam Desalegn, following his swearing-in ceremony earlier today, 20 September 2012, after an extraordinary session of the Ethiopian Parliament.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn succeeds the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and has served as Acting Prime Minister since the death of the former Prime Minister on 20 August 2012. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn was elected on 15 September 2012 by the Council of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) as its new leader.

South Africa is convinced that its strong and cordial historical relations with Ethiopia will be further strengthened and expanded under the leadership of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

During the April 2012 Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) between South Africa and Ethiopia in Addis Ababa, an Implementation Plan was signed by South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and the then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Mr Hailemariam Desalegn, which provides for the enhancement of the implementation of existing co-operation agreements between the two countries.

President Zuma attended the funeral of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, on 2 September 2012 in Addis Ababa and delivered a eulogy on that occasion.

In expressing his congratulatory remarks, President Zuma added: "I believe that Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will follow in the footsteps of his friend and mentor, former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, in continuing with the national policies of Ethiopia to enhance the development of the country. I also believe that he will continue Ethiopia’s leadership role in Africa to support NEPAD and the various peace processes on the continent, especially the one between Sudan and South Sudan."

Enqueries: Mr Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for the Department of International  Relations and Cooperation, +27 82 884 5974

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road



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