XI Bilateral Consultations between the Republic of South Africa and the Kingdom of Spain, Joint Communiqué, Pretoria, 29 September 2017
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Lluwelyn Landers, hosted the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain, Mr Ildefonso Castro López, for the 11th Session of the South Africa – Spain Annual Consultations in Pretoria on 29 September 2017.
The Annual Consultations takes place under the auspices of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed in December 2000, which serves as the main forum for coordinating bilateral relations between the two countries. The Consultations are an important forum for coordinating a structured engagement to exchange views on a wide spectrum of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual concern.
The two co-chairs, inter alia, agreed to promote an exchange of high level visits and study tours from various sectors. They reviewed bilateral political and economic relations and expressed satisfaction on the progress achieved in various areas of cooperation. They further agreed to explore other areas of cooperation including in water and sanitation as well as arts and culture.
The Consultations were preceded by meetings of the Foreign Affairs Working Group and the Economy, Trade, and Energy Working Group at senior officials’ level. The Working Groups reviewed cooperation in different fields and discussed ways to further strengthen relations which will advance both countries interests. The delegations expressed desire to grow and enhance trade and investments.
South Africa welcomed the decision by IBERIA to resume its flights between Madrid and Johannesburg since August last year and indicated that this positive development would further strengthen business links between the two countries, including an increase in tourism volumes.
The co-chairs also exchanged views on regional developments, including the Great Lakes region, developments in SADC, Western Sahara, and the Sahel region. There were also discussion on developments in Europe which include Brexit, irregular immigration and security.
The co-chairs agreed to foster the important partnership between the African Union and European Union in all its multiple dimensions.
The co-chairs also exchanged views on a broad array of developments on the international arena. Both sides committed to foster regular exchange of views and close coordination particularly in the context of South Africa´s active role on global affairs, specifically, in Africa as a member of the African Union Peace and Security Council and as Chair of the SADC.
Spain and South Africa stressed their shared commitment to multilateralism, to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and acknowledged the high level of mutual understanding and coordination in multilateral affairs.
The co-chairs exchanged views on United Nations reform, the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (SDGs), Climate Change as well as Human Rights issues.
Spain and South Africa agreed that these Consultations succeeded in further strengthening and growing the bilateral relationship. Both countries expressed their commitment to increase the effective implementation of the decisions made during this year’s Annual Consultations.
The 12th Session of the South Africa - Spain Annual Consultations will be held in 2018, in Madrid, Spain.
Ildefonso Castro Lopez
Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain
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