Joint Communiqué issued at the conclusion of the 3rd South Africa - Ethiopia Joint Ministerial Commission Meeting Held in Durban, South Africa, 28 March 2013.
The Third Session of the South Africa- Ethiopia Joint Ministerial Commission held its meeting in Durban on 28 March 2013, led by H.E. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and H.E. Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Co-operation of the Republic of South Africa.
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane opened the meeting, expressing her appreciation for the efforts made by both parties, following the signing of an Implementation Plan during the previous JMC, held in 2012. She further recalled the strong leadership role of former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, and expressed confidence that Prime Minister Ato HaileMariam Desalegn would continue his legacy.
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane took the opportunity to provide a short overview of the Fifth BRICS Summit that was concluded a day before the JMC. On bilateral relations, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane commended the work of the Senior Officials of both South Africa and Ethiopia who met in November 2012, in line with the provisions of the Implementation Plan. She further hailed the progress made by both parties, particularly in advancing the bilateral trade and economic relations.
H.E. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to him and the delegation from the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. He reiterated Ethiopia's commitment to the Implementation Plan signed in 2012 to ensure the strengthening of the bilateral relations for the betterment of the citizens of both countries.
On bilateral matters, the two parties reviewed the outcome of the Senior Officials' Meeting held in Pretoria in November 2012. Areas of discussion included Trade, Industry, Investment, Agriculture, Science and Technology, Water, Energy, Transport, Tourism, Arts and Culture, Capacity Building and Education. The Third South Africa-Ethiopia JMC urged the Senior Officials of both sides to redouble their efforts in expediting the implementation of signed agreements.
While both parties expressed their satisfaction on the prevailing warm relations at political level, they underscored the importance of improving commercial interaction between the two countries by opening market access and reciprocal promotion of investment opportunities to each other's business sectors.
In this regard, the two sides welcomed the announcement on July 2012 by a South African company, Pretoria Portland Cement Company Limited (PPC), who with the support of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) secured a significant stake in the Habesha Cement Share Company of Ethiopia. The two parties welcomed the commitment by Trade and Industry South Africa (TISA) to lead a business delegation to Addis Ababa in April 2013.
In the political field, the Ministers expressed their satisfaction at the on-going cooperation achieved between the two countries. They further noted the continued efforts to strengthen and improve coordination and consultations especially with regard to strengthening Regional Economic Communities (REC) and the African Union (AU) for the advancement of regional and continental integration.
The two Ministers also exchanged views on the latest developments in their respective regions and in the rest of the continent.
With regard to the situation in Somalia, the two Ministers welcomed the new Somali Federal Government under the leadership of President Hassan Mohamoud and committed to supporting Somalia in achieving its goals for peace, security, and development. Minister Nkoana-Mashabane took the opportunity to inform Dr Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus that South Africa will be hosting the International Contact Group meeting on Somalia.
With regard to Sudan and South Sudan, the Ministers welcomed the agreement reached on 8 March 2013, on the implementation matrix of the September 27 2012 agreements. The Ministers further expressed their satisfaction with the announcement by the Government of Sudan that it will hold direct talks with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North. In addition, the two Ministers emphasized the need for the international community to support the mediation efforts of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) in finding a solution to the impasse between the two parties particularly over the status of Abyei and other disputed areas.
The deliberations were conducted in a spirit of friendship, mutual support and understanding that reflects the prevailing close relations between the Peoples and the Governments of South Africa and Ethiopia.
Finally, it was agreed that the next Senior Officials' Meeting of the Joint Ministerial Commission will be held in Addis Ababa before the end of 2013. It was also decided that the next Joint Ministerial Commission meeting will be held in 2014 in Ethiopia.
Done on this Day of the 28th March 2013, DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA
H.E. Dr Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus (PHD) H.E. Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane,
Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of International Relations
of the Federal Democratic and Co-operation of the
Republic of Ethiopia Republic of South Africa