Remarks by Dr NC Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa on the Occasion of the Opening of Ceremony of the 4th Session of the South Africa-Algeria Binational Commission, 5 October 2004, Tshwane

Your Excellency, President TM Mbeki,
Your Excellency, President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika,
Honourable Ministers,
Distinguished Delegates,
Business Leaders from both South Africa and Algeria,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my honour and privilege to welcome you to this, the 4th session of the South Africa-Algeria Binational Commission (BNC). I would like to extend a special word of welcome to our dear Sisters and Brothers from Algeria, and express the hope that they will have a fruitful stay in the city of Tshwane.

This 4th session of the BNC takes place on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Algerian Revolution, and the 10th anniversary of South Africa's Freedom and Democracy. The heroic struggle waged by gallant peoples of Algeria was one of the pioneering and historic revolutions, which contributed to the defeat of colonialism. The values, which informed your struggle, namely, freedom, liberty, and equality are similar to those that bound the peoples of South Africa and their quest to liquidate the Apartheid system. The solidarity that exists between our peoples is based on our common history of struggle. Today, as free nations, we face similar challenges, challenges of fighting poverty and underdevelopment in a world that is increasingly inequitable.

Our common history and destiny informs our approach to the challenges facing our Continent and the world in general. Both our countries are working towards a peaceful, stable, secure and prosperous Africa that should take its rightful place in global affairs. This we do because we realize that the world we leave in is an increasingly integrated one, which requires us to act in concert in order to derive the maximum benefit for our peoples, indeed the peoples of the world.

This session of the BNC provides us an opportunity to assess progress since the last session that was held in Algeria in 2002. In this regard, it is gratifying to note that there has been a high number of exchange visits by Ministers, officials and experts from our two countries.

The presence of business leaders from both countries offer us an opportunity to deepen and expand trade and investment. All the more so because of our commitment to the promotion of intra-Africa trade and investment.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, as part of continuous effort to improve the functioning of the BNC, we charged the officials with the responsibility of reviewing the Working Groups. I have been advised that the officials have concluded this exercise are ready to present their recommendations on this as well as other aspects of the work of the BNC. I hope that these recommendations will help improve the functioning of the BNC as an effective and efficient tool to manage bilateral relations between our two countries.

During this BNC, several activities and events will take place on the fringes of the official session. These are the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Forum, the South Africa-Algeria Business Forum and Cultural activities, which will bee held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Algeria Revolution. These activities are concrete demonstration of our peoples' commitment to expand cooperation between our two countries. Through these activities we are building closer ties and people to people cooperation.

At the end of this session we shall propose for adoption by our two Presidents, the Pretoria Plan of Action, which shall guide the BNC until the 5th session which will be held in Algiers in 2005.

I would now like to invite my colleague, the Honourable Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Algeria, Mr. Andelaziz Belkhadem to make his remarks.

I thank you.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853.

c/o Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

5 October 2004

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa