Press Release

09 May 2013

Deputy Minister Fransman concludes a successful visit to Azerbaijan

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Marius Fransman successfully concluded his two-day working visit to Azerbaijan.

This was the first working visit by a South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation to Azerbaijan.

The visit follows the successful Senior Officials’ Political Consultations between South Africa and Azerbaijan held in Baku on 14-15 November 2012.

During his visit, Deputy Minister Fransman held bilateral discussions with his counterpart, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Khalaf Khalafov Aly Oglu.

The two Deputy Ministers reviewed the status of bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues of common interest. Cooperation in the field of energy, defence, education and skills development, especially in the field of oil engineering, were also discussed. In this regard, it is envisaged that Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) on energy cooperation and on cooperation between the two Diplomatic Academies would be signed this year.

The two Deputy Ministers also proposed ways to strengthen industrial cooperation. In this regard, exchanges in skills development, including people to people and institutional interactions were recommended.

Deputy Minister Fransman also met with the Minister of Industry and Energy, the Deputy Minister of Economic Development, as well as with the Vice President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) and the President of the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO).

In his discussions with the aforementioned Government Ministries and Agencies, the need to fast-track training and education, especially in the oil sector, was emphasised. Strengthening relations in the field of economic and infrastructure development were also discussed. This included initiating skills transfer in the areas of mineral beneficiation, manufacturing and energy, including alternative energy.

It was further proposed that delegations from South Africa and Azerbaijan comprising the energy and industrial sector, undertake a study tour of each other's countries to share experiences and information on projects being implemented in these sectors.

Whilst in Baku, Azerbaijan, the Deputy Minister attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Valley of Honour.

Deputy Minister Fransman was supported by officials from the Departments of International Relations and Cooperation, Energy and PetroSA.

Deputy Minister Fransman is currently in Geneva, where he will lead a South African delegation to the High Level Segment of the Extra-Ordinary Conferences of States Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (ExCOP2) scheduled for 9-10 May 2013.

The objectives of the ExCOP2 are to improve efficiency in the life cycle management of chemicals and hazardous waste under the three conventions; to strengthen the implementation of the three conventions at the national, regional and global levels; to promote coherent policy guidance; and to further enhance efficiency in the provision of support to parties.

Deputy Minister Fransman will be accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Rejoice Mabudhafhasi.

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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