Press Release

29 June 2012

8th South Africa-Spain Annual Consultations in Madrid

Deputy Minister Ebrahim visits Madrid for the 8th SA-Spain Annual Consultations.

The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Ebrahim Ebrahim, will undertake an official visit to Madrid, Spain, from 02-03 July 2012 to co-chair the 8th South Africa-Spain Annual Consultations.

Deputy Minister Ebrahim’s visit to Spain takes place within the context of enhancing North-South Dialogue.

The visit will afford South Africa an opportunity to further strengthen bilateral relations with Spain in support of South Africa’s national priorities and foreign policy objectives by, inter alia, promoting high-level consultations to discuss bilateral, regional, multilateral and other international issues of mutual concern.

The South Africa-Spain Annual Consultations serve as the main forum for coordinating bilateral relations between the two countries. It was established in terms of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in December 2000 and provides the legal framework for bilateral consultations and cooperation.

The Annual Consultations are anchored around five Working Groups; (i) Political Consultations; (ii) Economic Affairs - Trade and Investment & Energy; (iii) Development Cooperation and Culture; (iv) Home Affairs and (v) Defence.

South Africa and Spain enjoy cordial relations with regular political consultations at Deputy Ministerial level, promising development co-operation ties and solid trade and investment relations.

Spain places high priority on its relations with the African continent, as evidenced by its 2009–2012 “Africa Plan.” The Plan pledges support for the Sub-Saharan Africa Development Agenda, highlighting the need to harmonise, coordinate and develop complementarities” with both bilateral and multilateral initiatives, including the African Union.

The two countries are deeply committed to multilateralism with Spain having supported South Africa’s bid to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2011-2012. Furthermore the two countries also share a common belief that United Nations governance should be restructured particularly the Security Council and global financial architecture.

Furthermore, on the margins of the 8th Annual Consultations, Deputy Minister Ebrahim is expected to hold talks with his counterpart, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain, Mr Gonzalo De Benito.

For further information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on 082 884 5974

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

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