Media Release

20 September 2013

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane concludes a successful Working Visit to Venezuela

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has concluded a successful Working Visit to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, where she held talks with her counterpart, Minister Elias Jaua Milano, and paid a courtesy call on President Nicolas Maduro.

Speaking after the courtesy call on President Maduro, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said: "There are a lot of commonalities between our two countries as we are both developing countries. Our cooperation is guided by the principles of mutual interest, economic development and total eradication of poverty."

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane added that: "The visit has gone a long way towards solidifying political, economic and cultural relations between South Africa and Venezuela."

Diplomatic relations between South Africa and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela were established in 1993 and, in 1995, Venezuela opened its Embassy in Pretoria. South Africa opened its Embassy in Caracas in January 1998.

A Memorandum of Understanding regarding bilateral consultations was concluded between South Africa and Venezuela in July 2007 and a Framework Agreement on Cooperation was signed in 2008 during the visit of the late President Hugo Chavez.

The Framework Agreement paved the way for cooperation in the areas of energy, mining, agriculture, social and cultural activities. It was mutually agreed to establish a Joint Bilateral Commission (JBC) to monitor the implementation of the Cooperation Framework Agreement and to identify new areas of cooperation.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane invited Minister Jaua to visit South Africa.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, 082 884 5974.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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