03 April 2015
President Zuma concludes successful visit to the Arab Republic of Egypt
President Jacob Zuma has today, 03 April 2015, arrived in South Africa after a successful Working Visit to Cairo, in the Arab Republic of Egypt.
The President held fruitful discussions with his Egyptian counterpart, H.E President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, on issues related to bilateral relations and developments on the Continent and globally.
President Zuma said that discussions were conducted in a spirit of openness and frankness, befitting the strategic nature of relations between the two countries.
“First and foremost, we agreed that it was imperative for our two countries to revitalise and elevate bilateral relations to a new level, given the many common challenges we face within our countries,” said President Zuma.
Furthermore, President Zuma stated that: “We have agreed to reconvene, as a matter of priority, the South Africa-Egypt Joint Bilateral Commission with the aim of consolidating areas of cooperation and to identify new areas of collaboration. It is imperative that existing bilateral agreements are implemented and that progress in the implementation of these agreements is regularly reported on in the Bilateral Commission.”
On economic cooperation, President Zuma mentioned that: “We also discussed and agreed to accelerate trade and investment by urging our respective business sectors to utilise the many opportunities that our countries have to offer. In addition, the formation of the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement and the development of the North-South Corridor will boost regional economic integration. We also agreed on the need to partner on infrastructure development, linked to the ongoing NEPAD-related projects.
During the bilateral discussions, the two leaders discussed at length the current developments in the region and agreed that South Africa and Egypt should collaborate to resolve the many challenges facing the Continent. Furthermore, the two Presidents reviewed the peace and security situation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
“We agreed that it is now urgent to find, through peaceful means and dialogue, a political solution to the crises confronting countries in conflict situations. In this regard, regional organisations such as the African Union and the Arab League have an important role to play in that process,” said President Zuma.
On the multilateral front, both sides agreed that the reform of global institutions such as the United Nations and the UN Security Council in particular, must take place as a matter of priority.
“South Africa and Egypt agreed to engage on the matter of UN Reform in line with Africa’s position, as contained in the Ezulwini Consensus,” said President Zuma.
In conclusion, President Zuma reiterated the fact that the Working Visit was successful as South Africa and Egypt committed themselves to exert all effort to deepen and expand their bilateral relationship with a view to bringing their cooperation to the next strategic level.
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Issued by: The Presidency