Congratulatory Remarks by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, the honourable Ms Sue van der Merwe on the Occasion of the Fourteenth Anniversary of German Re-Unification, Pretoria, 4 October 2004

Ambassador Harro Adt

Your Excellencies and Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Distinguished Guests

Please allow me the honour, on behalf of the Government and the people of the Republic of South Africa, to congratulate the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Germany on the occasion of the 14th Anniversary of German Reunification.

The reunification of the "Bundesrepublic Deutshland" and the "Deutshe Demokratishe Republiek" in 1990, following the events on the evening of November 9, 1989 in Berlin when the wall that divided East and West was brought down, marked the beginning of a new era in world politics.

The subsequent international developments, including those in our own country, presented the world with opportunities to break down the barriers of the past to promote peace, co-operation and a better life to all.

This year, as you know, we are celebrating ten years of our democracy. The similarity in both our countries' attainment of freedom and both our nation's achievements in reconciliation, nation-building and social justice is significant and testimony to the character of our two peoples.

Today, the world order has, once again, changed dramatically! We are faced with very different challenges and many uncertainties. On the African continent and further afield, South Africa is committed to the goal of playing a meaningful role in creating a better world for all. In this regard, we are grateful for the excellent relationship that we have with your country and for the mutually beneficial partnership that has developed between our two countries since 1994. Germany's support at various fora for NEPAD's objectives is much appreciated. We are now at the implementation phase and we know that we can count on our friendship and partnership with the people of the Federal Republic of Germany for your support in our efforts to make our vision of an African Renaissance a reality.

As you are aware, the SA-German Binational Commission took place from 30 to 31 October 2003 in Pretoria and provided us with the opportunity to take stock of the co-operation between our two counties and what has been achieved to date. This forum has so far been an excellent mechanism to promote our mutual interests and to enhance co-operation in several areas. As partners from very different parts of the world, SA and Germany are in an ideal position to jointly confront the challenges of our time in a responsible manner, whether a bilateral or a multilateral nature.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We congratulate today a unified Germany and salute the courage that the German people had to join hands and to seek joint solutions to the mutual challenges they were facing. Germany is one of South Africa's most important trade and investment partners internationally and the relations continue to grow. We look forward to jointly build on existing ties and to further strengthen our strong bond of friendship.

May I now propose a toast to celebrate the 14th anniversary of the German Reunification and the future of good co-operation between our two countries.

Thank you.

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa