Notes Following Briefing by Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad Regarding Outgoing Official Visit to Libya by Deputy President Jacob Zuma 1st Floor East Wing, Union Buildings, Pretoria Monday, 7 March 2005

Official visit to Libya by Deputy President Jacob Zuma
South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma will pay an official visit to the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from Tuesday - Thursday, 8-10 March 2005 where he will lead a senior South African government and business delegation.

Deputy President Jacob Zuma's delegation is expected to include Ministers Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Jeff Radebe and Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad.

The following agreements are in place between South Africa and Libya

  • The Joint Bilateral Commission Agreement
  • Bilateral Trade Agreement
  • Agreement on the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investment
  • Agreement on Merchant Shipping and Maritime Related Matters
  • Letter of Intent for cooperation in the field of Transport and Transportation
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Air Services
  • Protocol of Intent on Cooperation in the Fields of Science and Technology
  • Letter of Intent on an Agreement on Cultural Cooperation.

These agreements ensure that the frameworks are in place for South Africa and Libya to exploit the economic potential that exists between both countries.

As you know, it is only after the intervention of then President Nelson Mandela and the resolution of the Lockerbie situation and the denouncement of Libya's nuclear programme that relations between Libya and the rest of the world have opened up.

In this regard, most high-level leaders in Europe have already visited Libya. It is important that South Africa takes advantage of the new opportunities between itself and Libya - Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa and the second largest oil producer on the continent.

This visit hopes to:

  • Consolidate bilateral political and economic relations between South Africa and Libya;
  • Discuss the operationalisation of the African Union and its Organs and the implementation of NEPAD as the continent's socio-economic programme; and
  • Consolidate efforts to achieve peace, security and stability in Africa.

Libya is expected a new wave of oil exploration activity that will increase its reserves from the current 36 million barrels to an estimated 100 million barrels. Foreign Direct Investments in the oil sector is expected to increase to approximately US$ 30 billion by 2010. This will be a major boost for economic development that could see the completion of current water, energy, agriculture and tourism projects in Libya.

Libya encourages its tourism sector with the intention to make it the country's second largest industry after oil and gas.

15 major oil exploration projects have been awarded to US companies - Occidential Pretroleum, Amerada Hess, Chevron and Texaco.

Libya's oil reserves and its population of 5.3 million (1999) give it one of the highest GDP per capita in Africa.

Basic goods and foodstuffs are imported in bulk. The manufacturing and construction sector, which account for approximately 20% of GDP, have expanded from processing mostly agricultural products to include the production of petrochemicals, iron, steel and aluminium.

Libya hosts the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) of which Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, the Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Senegal, Sudan, Togo and Tunisia are members.

This poses an important question of the reconciliation of country's who belong to various sub-regional groupings.

Diplomatic relations between South Africa and Libya were established in 1995 - our Embassy was opened in 2001

There are many opportunities in the fields of construction, hydrocarbons mining and energy, tourism, textiles, agriculture, communications and co-operation in the military field.

ESKOM has formed a joint venture company - Global Electrical Services Company with the General Electricity Company of Libya. The joint venture aimed to assist GECOL in the rehabilitation of Thermal Power Plants and to build capacity within GECOL in the area of plant rehabilitation and maintenance. Over the past two years, some major projects had been successfully completed.

It is of great concern to me that our bilateral trade is so low.

SA Exports to Libya2002 (R - Million)2002 (R - Million)2002 (R - Million)
Exports69,2040,9030,90
Imports0,0030,050,05
Trade (+ Surplus / - Deficit)+ 69,19+ 40,85+ 30,40

The main exports to Libya include base metals, machinery, mechanical and electrical appliances and agricultural products (vegetables).

The Libyan government has just announced an investment plan worth US$35 billion for the period 2001-2005. The state sector invested between 60-70 percent and the rest came from local and foreign investors.

Zimbabwean Elections (31 March 2005)
The SADC Observer Mission to Zimbabwe, headed by Minister of Home Affairs Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, is expected to arrive in Zimbabwe on 15 March 2005.

South Africa is heading this delegation by virtue of its current position as the Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.

This delegation is currently being finalised, as is the South African national delegation which will be led by Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana, and the parliamentary delegation.

The ANC delegation is also being assembled. But enquiries in this regard should be sent to the ANC Secretary-General

  • The primary responsibility for the creation of a climate for free and fair elections rests with the people of Zimbabwe acting through their independent electoral commission.
  • We have no reason to believe that there is anyone who would want to infringe on the rights of the people of Zimbabwe to express their will freely
  • We would want to believe that anyone infringing on the rights of the people to express their will freely will be met with the full might of the law
  • The role of SADC Observer Mission as it is with all other observer missions is to assist the people of Zimbabwe realise their objective of a free and fair election
  • The people of Zimbabwe expect of SADC to support them in the endeavour to create a climate conducive to free and fair elections and not to pre-judge and election which has not taken place.

Minister Dlamini Zuma and AU Executive Council Meeting in Ethiopia
Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is leading the South African delegation to the AU Commission meeting on the UN proposals which is being hosted by Ethiopia today and tomorrow, Monday-Tuesday 7-8 March 2005.

The Commission meeting follows a decision of the AU Heads of State and Government Summit held in Nigeria from 30-31 January 2005 which decided to establish a Ministerial Committee of Fifteen (15) Members, mandated to consider all aspects of the recommendations made in the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's report of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change on the reform of the United Nations System.

In this regard, the Committee of Fifteen (15) Foreign Ministers will also consider the two models for the expansion of the UN Security Council, taking into account:

  • the African Common Position contained in the Harare Assembly Declaration of June 1997; and
  • Developments on the international scene since the adoption of the Harare Declaration.

The first of the two options (Model A) allows for the expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories of the UN Security Council membership. In terms of this option Africa would be allocated two permanent members and its non-permanent membership would increase from three to four members.

In terms of Model B, no new permanent members would be created. A new category of membership would be created for members to be elected to four-year terms, and would be able to stand for re-election. In the case of Africa there would be two such four-year re-electable seats and four two-year non-re-electable seats.

We expect that this meeting will see the acceptance of an African position to this matter and well as the position on the candidatures for a permanent United Nations Security Council Seat.

India-Brazil-SA (IBSA) Trilateral Dialogue
South Africa will host a ministerial meeting of the IBSA trilateral dialogue in Cape Town on Thursday-Friday 10-11 March 2005.

We expect that the Ministers will sign a declaration which will establish an IBSA Business Council.

The Ministers will also meet President Mbeki for discussions.


Questions and Answers

Question Deputy Minister Pahad, is the SADC Observer Mission to Zimbabwe not an extremely late deployment? Why was the team not in place any sooner? Why has Zimbabwe not been reprimanded? Why is the Independent Electoral Commission not fully functional?

Answer The MDC has prepared a memorandum that has been made available to all roleplayers for discussion.

Any further allegations that are made, should please be brought to our attentions to that they can be raised with the relevant parties.

If the teams work properly, two weeks should be sufficient for them to do their work. In addition, South Africa is deploying four teams with the AU also deploying a team.

Question Deputy Minister, there has been the argument of intimidation and the selective issuing of voters registration?

Answer The observer missions will be going to Zimbabwe with all of this information at their disposal so that they can follow up.

Question Deputy Minister, how is the parliamentary observer team composed?

Answer The rules establishing the composition of any international delegation are set out in the parliamentary rules.

However, the Speaker will also put together her recommendations, based on consultation with the Chief Whips of the various parties.

Question Deputy Minister, what powers of intervention will the SADC observer mission have?

Answer The team will be able to follow up all allegations with various role-players so that the conditions can be created for all Zimbabweans to cast their votes freely.

Question Deputy Minister, does the SADC election guidelines allow this? I believe there has been much discussion re: observers and monitors?

Answer Yes, it is incumbent upon them to do more than just observe and hopefully this will not be seen as interference.

Question Deputy Minister, what is the purpose of the visit of King Mswati to South Africa?

Answer As chair of the SADC: Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, it is incumbent upon us to deal with problems in the region - Zimbabwe and Swaziland for example. It is also very important that we understand the democratisation process in Swaziland. It is also important to see whether we can help normalise and stabilise the political processes in Swaziland.

Then President Mandela was initially mandated to deal with the matter, followed by President Chissano. This is however, the first time that the matter will be dealt with by the Chair of the SADC Organ at Presidential level.

No dates have been finalised yet for the visit.

Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria
0001

7 March 2005

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