Joint Communique on the occasion of the Bilateral meeting between President Jacob Zuma and President Faustin Archange Touadera
On 5 April 2017, His Excellency, President Jacob Zuma, hosted His Excellency, Prof. Faustin Archange Touadera, President of the Central African Republic, for a meeting during his working visit to South Africa.
President Jacob Zuma once more congratulated President Touadera on his election as President of the Central African Republic and commended the people of the Central African Republic for conducting peaceful and democratic elections in February 2016. In this regard, President Zuma recalled that many pundits had predicted that the CAR elections were going to be accompanied by violence and instability but the wonderful people of CAR proved those pundits woefully wrong and that it is therefore correct of us to salute the ordinary people of the Central African Republic for choosing the path of peace, stability and development.
The two Presidents commended the re-establishment of the constitutional and democratic institutions as planned in the Constitution of 30 March 2016. They acknowledged that significant security challenges remain.
The two Presidents reaffirmed the urgent need for armed groups in the Central African Republic to lay down arms and take part in security sector reform and the disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation (DDRR) programme. In this regard, President Zuma commended President Touadera for his steady efforts of dialogue with armed groups.
The two Presidents reviewed bilateral relations between their two countries and agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation within the ambit of the founding Framework Co-operation Agreement signed by both countries on 28th April 2006. They reaffirmed the strategic importance of this Agreement as it seeks to promote political, economic, social, security, cultural, scientific and technical cooperation.
The two Presidents decided to establish a structured mechanism to manage and coordinate bilateral cooperation between the two countries by establishing a Joint Commission for Cooperation. In his regard, they directed their respective Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation and Foreign Affairs and African Integration to work out its modalities.
The two Presidents called on the relevant structures of their governments as well as private sector to take advantage of the abundant opportunities for bilateral trade and investments in their respective countries.
With regard to the Continent, the two Presidents exchanged views on the political and security situation in their respective regions and the Continent in general. They expressed their grave concern about the ongoing instability in some of the countries on the Continent and condemned in the strongest possible terms the continued terrorist and extremist activities. To this end, they reaffirmed their commitment to working together in pursuit of sustainable peace and stability on the Continent.
The two Presidents also expressed their concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in some countries in the Continent as recently announced by the United Nations.
President Touadera expressed his sympathy to the South African people, Government and families of the soldiers killed during a peace mission in the Central African Republic in 2013.
President Touadera expressed his profound gratitude for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation and also extended an invitation to President Zuma to visit the Central African Republic.
President Zuma accepted the invitation to visit the Central African Republic on a date to be mutually determined.
In conclusion, the two Presidents reaffirmed the warm relations that exist between the two sister Republics and committed themselves to working together to enhance close political, economic and social cooperation for the mutual benefit of their countries and peoples.
DONE IN PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA
5 APRIL 2017