Joint Communiqué on the outcome of the Joint Bilateral Commission of Cooperation (JBCC) between the Republic of South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho, 17-18 April 2013.
At the invitation of the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations of the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Honourable Mohlabi Kenneth Tsekoa attended the renewed JBCC between South Africa and Lesotho in Pretoria from 17-18 April 2013.
During the meeting, the Ministers reviewed a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues. They expressed great satisfaction at the warm and fraternal relations that subsist between their two countries and committed themselves to further enhance the existing historical and cultural relations for the mutual benefit of their respective countries and peoples.
The Ministers recalled the meeting of the Leaders of the two countries in October 2012 and further expressed firm commitment to continue to work together under the renewed JBCC Framework.
On the issue of Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, the Ministers underscored the need to expedite implementation of the Project.
With regard to immigration issues the two countries agreed to work towards full implementation of the Agreement on Free Movement of People, Goods and Services between the common borders. South Africa reconfirmed her pledge to assist Lesotho on immigration issues, in particular, to develop the essential population register.
Taking into cognisance the fact that the economies of the two countries are intertwined, the meeting resolved to work towards increasing economic activities that will lead to the creation of sustainable jobs.
Ongoing consultations are at an advanced stage to assist Lesotho to identify tourism opportunities.
Both sides agreed on the need to work towards creating renewable energy resources in their quest to meet future predicted energy demands.
The two sides agreed to work together towards finalising the amendment of the Extradition Treaty.
The meeting stressed the need for the two sides (Defence and Police) to continue to work together to minimise cross border crimes particularly, stock and vehicle theft.
On regional issues, the Ministers exchanged views on the prevailing political, economic and security situation in the region, in particular, the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In this context, they re-affirmed their commitment to work together in pursuit of sustainable peace and security in the region and Africa as a whole. In this regard, Lesotho commended South Africa for the pivotal role she continues to play in peacekeeping missions in Africa.
With regard to South African fallen soldiers in the Central African Republic, Minister Mohlabi Kenneth Tsekoa, expressed heartfelt condolences on behalf of the Government and people of the Kingdom of Lesotho for this great loss.
The Ministers reiterated their common view on the need to reform the multilateral institutions, in particular, the United Nations Security Council.
Lesotho expressed her gratitude to the Government and the people of South Africa for the humanitarian assistance extended in response to the clarion call on food shortages in Lesotho.
Minister Tsekoa expressed his gratitude to Minister Nkoana-Mashabane, the Government and the people of the Republic of South Africa for the warm welcome and fraternal reception accorded to him and his delegation during the visit.