Influence of the Developments in the Region when Iraq assumes the Arab League Presidency in March 2012; and whether South Africa intends to establish a Mission in Iraq

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NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO: 98 (CW111E)

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 6-2012 OF 9 MARCH 2012

Mr W F Faber (DA-NC) to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation:

1. Whether the position of Iraq assuming the Arab League presidency in March 2012 will influence developments in the region; if not, how was this conclusion reached; if so, what are the relevant details;

2. whether South Africa intends to establish a Mission in Iraq; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

REPLY:

1. Since South Africa is not a member of the Arab League nor party to its decisions, the South African Government is not in a position to comment on the regional impact of Iraq assuming the presidency or chair of the Arab League. However, as a country committed to multilateralism, South Africa constantly strives to strengthen its interaction with regional organisations such as the Arab League.

2. Yes, South Africa does have diplomatic relations with Iraq and we maintain full diplomatic relations.  We have a non-resident Ambassador to Iraq.  The opening of a South African resident diplomatic Mission in Iraq would greatly facilitate the expansion of these ties.  However, due to resource constraints and the prevailing security situation in the country, we have not established a resident diplomatic Mission in Iraq.

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