Joint Communiqué at the conclusion of the Inaugural Meeting of the Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC) between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Niger, Pretoria, 23 October 2013

1. At the invitation of the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the Honourable Mr Mohamed Bazoum, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, African Integration and Nigeriens Living Abroad of the Republic of Niger, accompanied by a delegation of Senior Officials, paid a working visit to the Republic of South Africa from 21 to 23 October 2013.  The main purpose of his visit was to jointly chair with Minister Nkoana-Mashabane the inaugural session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) between South Africa and Niger on 23 October 2013.

2. The JCC was preceded by a Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on 21 and 22 October 2013 during which the status of bilateral cooperation between the two countries was discussed.  

3. During their official talks, the two Ministers reviewed a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. They expressed satisfaction at the warm and fraternal relations that exist between the two countries.

4. On bilateral co-operation, both Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Minister Bazoum reaffirmed the bonds of friendship that exist between the two countries, founded on common values of mutual respect, commitment to democracy, good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

5. The two Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the state of bilateral cooperation, as conducted within the framework of the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC).

6. The Ministers expressed their desire to deepen bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the fields of food security; geology and mining; energy; security, as well as new areas of cooperation such as arts and culture; tourism; trade and industry; and infrastructure development.  

7. The Ministers were pleased to note that a number of Agreements/Memoranda of Understanding have been exchanged and that the relevant Departments will endeavour to finalise such Agreements as soon as possible.

8. The Ministers also noted the progress that was made in the negotiations regarding the Bilateral Air Services Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Civil Aviation that is expected to be concluded during December 2013. Furthermore, the Ministers noted progress made in finalising the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Fields of Geology and Mining.

9. South Africa and Niger agreed to encourage people-to-people contacts through the South African participation at the International African Fashion Festival (FIMA) in Niamey in November 2013.

10. The Ministers also exchanged views on issues of mutual interest, particularly related to peace, security and stability on the Continent.

11. Minister Bazoum briefed Minister Nkoana-Mashabane on political developments in Niger as well as in the West African region. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the consolidation of the African Agenda and reiterated their commitment to working together in promoting peace and stability in Africa. Minister Nkoana-Mashabane also briefed Minister Bazoum on developments in South Africa and the SADC Region.

12. At the conclusion of the Working Visit, Minister Bazoum, on behalf of the Nigerien delegation, expressed his gratitude and appreciation to Minister Nkoana-Mashabane, the Government and people of the Republic South Africa for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation during the visit and extended an invitation to the Republic of South Africa to attend the next Joint Commission for Cooperation meeting, to be held in Niamey, Niger on mutually agreed dates.  

13. Minister Bazoum once again expressed his appreciation to South Africa for the consignment of nutrition for children, fertilizer, animal feed, and bio-pesticide provided by South Africa in response to Niger’s request for emergency humanitarian assistance.  

Released on Tuesday, 23 October 2013 in Pretoria, South Africa.

For further information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on +27 82 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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