Joint Communiqué on the occasion of the Working Visit by HE Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa to the Democratic People’s Republic of Algeria
1. On 13 and 14 January 2019, HE Mr Abdelkader Messahel, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, received HE Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, on a Working Visit to Algeria.
2. This visit is in follow-up to the Working Visit of Minister Messahel to South Africa on 28 and 29 August 2018 and illustrates the deep historical and fraternal bonds between South Africa and Algeria.
3. The two Ministers held extensive and fruitful discussions on a wide range of bilateral, continental and international issues of mutual concern.
4. The Ministers expressed satisfaction with the quality and depth of bilateral cooperation between the two countries which continues to show growing dynamism.
5. The two Ministers noted the strategic importance of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) as a structured bilateral mechanism to coordinate and forge bilateral cooperation and partnership between the two countries. In this regard, both Ministers agreed on the need to hold the seventh session of the BNC on a mutually agreed date and venue. They noted that regular meetings of the BNC supporting mechanisms provide an occasion for comprehensive evaluation of progress and forums to identify further opportunities to enhance the relationship in various fields.
6. The Ministers noted the growing economic and social cooperation. In this regard, they specifically agreed on the need to pay particular focus on economic cooperation through trade and investment initiatives between State Owned Enterprises and public-private partnerships.
7. The two Ministers also agreed to reinforce the institutional framework of cooperation by launching a Strategic Algeria – South Africa Dialogue, the first session of which will take place at mutually agreed date and venue.
8. The two Ministers condemned in the strongest possible terms all forms of terrorism and extremism. They reaffirmed the need to reinforce international cooperation against international crime which profits from terrorism.
9. The Ministers recognised the centrality of the African Union (AU) in addressing crises and conflicts on the African continent. They welcomed the convergence of positions and views between Algeria and South Africa in conflict management and resolution on the continent by fostering, in particular, dialogue and peaceful solutions. The two Ministers further called for the implementation of the AU’s Agenda 2063 and its Action Plan, as well as the urgent need to pursue Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
10. The Ministers further agreed to work tirelessly towards the revitalisation and democratisation of international institutions in advancing peace, security and development. Both Ministers reiterated their common view on the need to promote multilateralism and South-South Cooperation. In this regard, they also reiterated the call for the reform of global system of governance to be more equitable and representative of all peoples of the world, in particular the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
11. Minister Messahel reiterated the congratulations of Algeria on South Africa’s assumption, as a non-permanent member for the period 2019 – 2020, of the UNSC seat.
12. On the continental issues, the two Ministers discussed the issue of the Western Sahara and reaffirmed their position which is the attainment of the right for self-determination of the Saharawi people and decolonisation of Western Sahara and the rapid resolution of the conflict within the framework of international legality.
13. The two Ministers reconfirmed the position of their two countries on the inalienable right to self-determination of the Saharawi people and decolonisation of Western Sahara which must be marked by the rapid resolution of this conflict within the framework of international legality.
14. The two Ministers emphasised that, with her admission into the AU, the Kingdom of Morocco has an obligation to adhere to the principles and goals enshrined in the AU Constitutive Act, especially the need to respect colonial borders as they existed at the time of independence.
15. The two Ministers expressed their full support and confidence in the efforts of the African Union (AU) Special Envoy for Western Sahara, HE former President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique and their commitment for a speedy implementation of the 30th Summit of the African Union (Assembly/AU/Dec. 677 (XXX) calling on the two member states, the Kingdom of Morocco and Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, to engage without preconditions in direct and serious talks to put an end to their conflict. In this regard, the two Ministers welcomed the new dynamic initiated by the Special Envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations, in order to pursue the negotiations between the Polisario Front and Morocco in order to reach a solution which guarantees the self-determination of Western Sahara.
16. The two Ministers expressed their full support and confidence in the efforts undertaken by the United Nations Secretary General Personal Envoy for Western Sahara H.E. Horst Kohler, to bring both the Polisario Front and the Kingdom of Morocco to continue direct negotiations in good faith and without preconditions and mobilise the international community to implement all United Nations Resolutions on Western Sahara.
17. The Ministers welcomed the holding of the general elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo that constitute a crucial step in the process of democratic transition and a new promise of a prosperous future for that country. They strongly believe that any concern of the parties should be channeled through the constitutional structure of the DRC.
18. Concerning the situation in Palestine, the two Ministers expressed concern about the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory. In this regard, they reaffirmed their support to a lasting and just solution to the Palestinian question, and reiterated the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent State with (El-Qods) (East Jerusalem) as Capital. They underlined that the resolution of the Palestinian question remains the cornerstone for sustainable peace and security in the Middle East.
19. The two Ministers reiterated their concerns as to the continued implementation of Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territories and to the persistent deterioration of the humanitarian situation of the Palestinian population.
20. HE Minister Lindiwe Sisulu expressed her deep appreciation to HE Minister Messahel for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to her and the South African delegation.
Done in Algiers on 14 January 2019.
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