Notes following Briefing by Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad, Imbizo
Media Centre, 120 Plein Street, Cape Town, Tuesday 27 March 2007
Thabo Mbeki, supported by Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad, will attend meetings
convened by the Chairman of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation
in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania on Wednesday - Thursday 28-29 March 2007.
Chairman has convened the following meetings:
- Wednesday 28 March
2007 Meeting of the Double Troika
SADC Troika (Lesotho, Zambia, Botswana)
of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation (Namibia, Angola,
South Africa has been invited to attend this meeting
29 March 2007 SADC Summit
We have not been given a final agenda
except to be told that the meetings will deal with developing situation in the
As you are aware, Parliament will tomorrow Wednesday 28 March 2007
hold a snap debate on the situation in Zimbabwe. I believe this will an opportunity
for all parties to express their considered views on developments in Zimbabwe.
I hope that the DA Foreign Affairs spokesperson Douglas Gibson would stop grandstanding
and reference to "pussy footing" and calling on the SA government to
impose sanctions on Zimbabwe.
It should now be clear that those who have
imposed "smart sanctions" on Zimbabwe have been questioning the impact
of these sanctions. The EU has categorically stated that they have no economic
sanctions against Zimbabwe with no intention to impose any.
significantly, no Zimbabwean political party, nor the churches who are playing
a major role or any other civil society group, have called for economic sanctions
to be imposed
Indeed, Zimbabwe has a trade surplus with the United Kingdom
and the UK is one of the three largest donor countries to Zimbabwe and I do hope
that the spokesperson of the DA, Mr Gibson will get his facts right so he can
use tomorrow's debate to come up with some concrete and intelligent proposals
that can assist us better to deal with the situation in Zimbabwe.
DLAMINI ZUMA'S VISIT TO NEW YORK
South African Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana
Dlamini Zuma on Monday 26 March 2007 departed for New York, United States of America,
where she will address the United Nations Security Council on the relationship
between the United Nations Security Council and the African Union's Peace and
Security Council in conflict resolution on Wednesday 28 March 2007.
are aware the mandate of the Security Council is to deal with regional and international
peace and security. For many years African conflicts have been high on the UNSC
agenda and Africa has increasingly participated in peace-keeping operations.
nature of the conflicts has on many occasions necessitated the AU to act independently,
while the long bureaucratic UN processes were being undertaken. It has become
increasingly clear that the UN processes must be streamlined to act timeously
to deal with conflict situations and these process have to take cognisance of
the increasing role of regional organisations in conflict resolution initiatives.
This is why during South Africa's Presidency of the UNSC in March, we proposed
that the thematic theme should be "The relationship between the UNSC and
regional organisations, ideally, the AU Peace and Security Council, in the maintenance
of International Peace and Security.
We believe this will be a very important
thematic discussion that will enable us to add to the growing debate within the
United Nations structures to see how the UN can transform itself to become more
responsive to the challenges we face on the issue of conflict resolution.
The United Nations Security Council
on Saturday 24 March 2007 voted unanimously in favour of Resolution 1747 against
Resolution 1747 (2007)
Adopted by the Security Council
at its 5647th meeting on
24 March 2007
The Security Council,
the Statement of its President, S/PRST/2006/15, of 29 March 2006, and its resolution
1696 (2006) of 31 July 2006, and its resolution 1737 (2006) of 23 December 2006,
and reaffirming their provisions,
Reaffirming its commitment to the Treaty
on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the need for all States Party to
that Treaty to comply fully with all their obligations, and recalling the right
of States Party, in conformity with Articles I and II of that Treaty, to develop
research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination,
its serious concern over the reports of the IAEA Director General as set out in
its resolutions 1696 (2006) and 1737 (2006),
Recalling the latest report
by the IAEA Director General (GOV/2007/8) of 22 February 2007 and deploring that,
as indicated therein, Iran has failed to comply with resolution 1696 (2006) and
resolution 1737 (2006),
Emphasizing the importance of political and diplomatic
efforts to find a negotiated solution guaranteeing that Iran's nuclear programme
is exclusively for peaceful purposes, and noting that such a solution would benefit
nuclear non-proliferation elsewhere, and welcoming the continuing commitment of
China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United
States, with the support of the European Union's High Representative to seek a
Recalling the resolution of the IAEA Board of Governors
(GOV/2006/14), which states that a solution to the Iranian nuclear issue would
contribute to global non-proliferation efforts and to realizing the objective
of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, including their means of
Determined to give effect to its decisions by adopting appropriate
measures to persuade Iran to comply with resolution 1696 (2006) and resolution
1737 (2006) and with the requirements of the IAEA, and also to constrain Iran's
development of sensitive technologies in support of its nuclear and missile programmes,
until such time as the Security Council determines that the objectives of these
resolutions have been met,
Recalling the requirement on States to join in
affording mutual assistance in carrying out the measures decided upon by the Security
Concerned by the proliferation risks presented by the Iranian nuclear
programme and, in this context, by Iran's continuing failure to meet the requirements
of the IAEA Board of Governors and to comply with the provisions of Security Council
resolutions 1696 (2006) and 1737 (2006), mindful of its primary responsibility
under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace
Acting under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the Charter of the
1. Reaffirms that Iran shall without further delay take
the steps required by the IAEA Board of Governors in its resolution GOV/2006/14,
which are essential to build confidence in the exclusively peaceful purpose of
its nuclear programme and to resolve outstanding questions, and, in this context,
affirms its decision that Iran shall without further delay take the steps required
in paragraph 2 of resolution 1737 (2006);
2. Calls upon all States also
to exercise vigilance and restraint regarding the entry into or transit through
their territories of individuals who are engaged in, directly associated with
or providing support for Iran's proliferation sensitive nuclear activities or
for the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems, and decides in this regard
that all States shall notify the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 18
of resolution 1737 (2006) (herein "the Committee") of the entry into
or transit through their territories of the persons designated in the Annex to
resolution 1737 (2006) or Annex I to this resolution, as well as of additional
persons designated by the Security Council or the Committee as being engaged in,
directly associated with or providing support for Iran's proliferation sensitive
nuclear activities or for the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems,
including through the involvement in procurement of the prohibited items, goods,
equipment, materials and technology specified by and under the measures in paragraphs
3 and 4 of resolution 1737 (2006), except where such travel is for activities
directly related to the items in subparagraphs 3 (b) (i) and (ii) of that resolution;
Underlines that nothing in the above paragraph requires a State to refuse its
own nationals entry into its territory, and that all States shall, in the implementation
of the above paragraph, take into account humanitarian considerations, including
religious obligations, as well as the necessity to meet the objectives of this
resolution and resolution 1737 (2006), including where Article XV of the IAEA
Statute is engaged;
4. Decides that the measures specified in paragraphs
12, 13, 14 and 15 of resolution 1737 (2006) shall apply also to the persons and
entities listed in Annex I to this resolution;
5. Decides that Iran shall
not supply, sell or transfer directly or indirectly from its territory or by its
nationals or using its flag vessels or aircraft any arms or related materiel,
and that all States shall prohibit the procurement of such items from Iran by
their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, and whether or not originating
in the territory of Iran;
6. Calls upon all States to exercise vigilance
and restraint in the supply, sale or transfer directly or indirectly from their
territories or by their nationals or using their flag vessels or aircraft of any
battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat
aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems as defined
for the purpose of the United Nations Register on Conventional Arms to Iran, and
in the provision to Iran of any technical assistance or training, financial assistance,
investment, brokering or other services, and the transfer of financial resources
or services, related to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture or use of such
items in order to prevent a destabilizing accumulation of arms;
upon all States and international financial institutions not to enter into new
commitments for grants, financial assistance, and concessional loans, to the Government
of the Islamic Republic of Iran, except for humanitarian and developmental purposes;
Calls upon all States to report to the Committee within 60 days of the adoption
of this resolution on the steps they have taken with a view to implementing effectively
paragraphs 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 above;
9. Expresses the conviction that the
suspension set out in paragraph 2 of resolution 1737 (2006) as well as full, verified
Iranian compliance with the requirements set out by the IAEA Board of Governors
would contribute to a diplomatic, negotiated solution that guarantees Iran's nuclear
programme is for exclusively peaceful purposes, underlines the willingness of
the international community to work positively for such a solution, encourages
Iran, in conforming to the above provisions, to re-engage with the international
community and with the IAEA, and stresses that such engagement will be beneficial
10. Welcomes the continuous affirmation of the commitment of China,
France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States,
with the support of the European Union's High Representative, to a negotiated
solution to this issue and encourages Iran to engage with their June 2006 proposals
(S/2006/521), attached in Annex II to this resolution, which were endorsed by
the Security Council in resolution 1696 (2006), and acknowledges with appreciation
that this offer to Iran remains on the table, for a long-term comprehensive agreement
which would allow for the development of relations and cooperation with Iran based
on mutual respect and the establishment of international confidence in the exclusively
peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme;
11. Reiterates its determination
to reinforce the authority of the IAEA, strongly supports the role of the IAEA
Board of Governors, commends and encourages the Director General of the IAEA and
its secretariat for their ongoing professional and impartial efforts to resolve
all outstanding issues in Iran within the framework of the IAEA, underlines the
necessity of the IAEA, which is internationally recognized as having authority
for verifying compliance with safeguards agreements, including the non-diversion
of nuclear material for non-peaceful purposes, in accordance with its Statute,
to continue its work to clarify all outstanding issues relating to Iran's nuclear
12. Requests within 60 days a further report from the Director
General of the IAEA on whether Iran has established full and sustained suspension
of all activities mentioned in resolution 1737 (2006), as well as on the process
of Iranian compliance with all the steps required by the IAEA Board and with the
other provisions of resolution 1737 (2006) and of this resolution, to the IAEA
Board of Governors and in parallel to the Security Council for its consideration;
Affirms that it shall review Iran's actions in light of the report referred to
in paragraph 12 above, to be submitted within 60 days, and:
(a) that it
shall suspend the implementation of measures if and for so long as Iran suspends
all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development,
as verified by the IAEA, to allow for negotiations in good faith in order to reach
an early and mutually acceptable outcome;
(b) that it shall terminate the
measures specified in paragraphs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 12 of resolution 1737 (2006)
as well as in paragraphs 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 above as soon as it determines, following
receipt of the report referred to in paragraph 12 above, that Iran has fully complied
with its obligations under the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and
met the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors, as confirmed by the IAEA
(c) that it shall, in the event that the report in paragraph 12 above
shows that Iran has not complied with resolution 1737 (2006) and this resolution,
adopt further appropriate measures under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the Charter
of the United Nations to persuade Iran to comply with these resolutions and the
requirements of the IAEA, and underlines that further decisions will be required
should such additional measures be necessary;
14. Decides to remain seized
of the matter.
Entities involved in nuclear or ballistic
1. Ammunition and Metallurgy Industries Group (AMIG)
(aka Ammunition Industries Group) (AMIG controls 7th of Tir, which is designated
under resolution 1737 (2006) for its role in Iran's centrifuge programme. AMIG
is in turn owned and controlled by the Defence Industries Organisation (DIO),
which is designated under resolution 1737 (2006))
2. Esfahan Nuclear Fuel
Research and Production Centre (NFRPC) and Esfahan Nuclear Technology Centre (ENTC)
(Parts of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran's (AEOI) Nuclear Fuel Production
and Procurement Company, which is involved in enrichment-related activities. AEOI
is designated under resolution 1737 (2006))
3. Kavoshyar Company (Subsidiary
company of AEOI, which has sought glass fibres, vacuum chamber furnaces and laboratory
equipment for Iran's nuclear programme)
4. Parchin Chemical Industries (Branch
of DIO, which produces ammunition, explosives, as well as solid propellants for
rockets and missiles)
5. Karaj Nuclear Research Centre (Part of AEOI's research
6. Novin Energy Company (aka Pars Novin) (Operates within AEOI
and has transferred funds on behalf of AEOI to entities associated with Iran's
7. Cruise Missile Industry Group (aka Naval Defence Missile
Industry Group) (Production and development of cruise missiles. Responsible for
naval missiles including cruise missiles)
8. Bank Sepah and Bank Sepah International
(Bank Sepah provides support for the Aerospace Industries Organisation (AIO) and
subordinates, including Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG) and Shahid Bagheri
Industrial Group (SBIG), both of which were designated under resolution 1737 (2006))
Sanam Industrial Group (subordinate to AIO, which has purchased equipment on AIO's
behalf for the missile programme)
10. Ya Mahdi Industries Group (subordinate
to AIO, which is involved in international purchases of missile equipment)
Revolutionary Guard Corps entities
1. Qods Aeronautics Industries (Produces
unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), parachutes, para-gliders, para-motors, etc. Iranian
Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has boasted of using these products as part of
its asymmetric warfare doctrine)
2. Pars Aviation Services Company (Maintains
various aircraft including MI-171, used by IRGC Air Force)
3. Sho'a' Aviation
(Produces micro-lights which IRGC has claimed it is using as part of its asymmetric
Persons involved in nuclear or ballistic missile activities
Fereidoun Abbasi-Davani (Senior Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces Logistics
(MODAFL) scientist with links to the Institute of Applied Physics, working closely
with Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, designated below)
2. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi
(Senior MODAFL scientist and former head of the Physics Research Centre (PHRC).
The IAEA have asked to interview him about the activities of the PHRC over the
period he was head but Iran has refused)
3. Seyed Jaber Safdari (Manager
of the Natanz Enrichment Facilities)
4. Amir Rahimi (Head of Esfahan Nuclear
Fuel Research and Production Center, which is part of the AEOI's Nuclear Fuel
Production and Procurement Company, which is involved in enrichment-related activities)
Mohsen Hojati (Head of Fajr Industrial Group, which is designated under resolution
1737 (2006) for its role in the ballistic missile programme)
Akhlaghi Ketabachi (Head of SBIG, which is designated under resolution 1737 (2006)
for its role in the ballistic missile programme)
7. Naser Maleki (Head of
SHIG, which is designated under resolution 1737 (2006) for its role in Iran's
ballistic missile programme. Naser Maleki is also a MODAFL official overseeing
work on the Shahab-3 ballistic missile programme. The Shahab-3 is Iran's long
range ballistic missile currently in service)
8. Ahmad Derakhshandeh (Chairman
and Managing Director of Bank Sepah, which provides support for the AIO and subordinates,
including SHIG and SBIG, both of which were designated under resolution 1737 (2006))
Revolutionary Guard Corps key persons
1. Brigadier General Morteza Rezaie
(Deputy Commander of IRGC)
2. Vice Admiral Ali Akbar Ahmadian (Chief of
IRGC Joint Staff)
3. Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi (Commander of
IRGC Ground Forces)
4. Rear Admiral Morteza Safari (Commander of IRGC Navy)
Brigadier General Mohammad Hejazi (Commander of Bassij resistance force)
Brigadier General Qasem Soleimani (Commander of Qods force)
7. General Zolqadr
(IRGC officer, Deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs)
of a long-term agreement
Our goal is to develop relations and cooperation
with Iran, based on mutual respect and the establishment of international confidence
in the exclusively peaceful nature of the nuclear programme of the Islamic Republic
of Iran. We propose a fresh start in the negotiation of a comprehensive agreement
with Iran. Such an agreement would be deposited with the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) and endorsed in a Security Council resolution.
the right conditions for negotiations,
- Reaffirm Iran's
right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in conformity with its obligations
under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (hereinafter, NPT),
and in this context reaffirm our support for the development by Iran of a civil
nuclear energy programme.
- Commit to support actively the building
of new light water reactors in Iran through international joint projects, in accordance
with the IAEA statute and NPT.
- Agree to suspend discussion of
Iran's nuclear programme in the Security Council upon the resumption of negotiations.
- Commit to addressing all of the outstanding concerns of IAEA
through full cooperation with IAEA.
- Suspend all enrichment-related and
reprocessing activities to be verified by IAEA, as requested by the IAEA Board
of Governors and the Security Council, and commit to continue this during these
- Resume the implementation of the Additional Protocol.
of future cooperation to be covered in negotiations on a long-term agreement
We will take the following steps:
Iran's rights to
- Reaffirm Iran's inalienable right to nuclear energy
for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with articles I
and II of NPT, and cooperate with Iran in the development by Iran of a civil nuclear
- Negotiate and implement a Euratom/Iran nuclear cooperation
Light water reactors
- Actively support
the building of new light water power reactors in Iran through international joint
projects, in accordance with the IAEA statute and NPT, using state-of-the-art
technology, including by authorizing the transfer of necessary goods and the provision
of advanced technology to make its power reactors safe against earthquakes.
cooperation with the management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste through
Research and development in nuclear energy
a substantive package of research and development cooperation, including possible
provision of light water research reactors, notably in the fields of radioisotope
production, basic research and nuclear applications in medicine and agriculture.
- Give legally binding, multilayered fuel assurances to
Iran, based on:
- Participation as a partner in an international
facility in Russia to provide enrichment services for a reliable supply of fuel
to Iran's nuclear reactors. Subject to negotiations, such a facility could enrich
all uranium hexaflouride (UF6) produced in Iran.
- Establishment on commercial
terms of a buffer stock to hold a reserve of up to five years' supply of nuclear
fuel dedicated to Iran, with the participation and under supervision of IAEA.
with IAEA of a standing multilateral mechanism for reliable access to nuclear
fuel, based on ideas to be considered at the next meeting of the Board of Governors.
Review of moratorium
The long-term agreement
would, with regard to common efforts to build international confidence, contain
a clause for review of the agreement in all its aspects, to follow:
by IAEA that all outstanding issues and concerns reported by it, including those
activities which could have a military nuclear dimension, have been resolved;
that there are no undeclared nuclear activities or materials in Iran and that
international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's civil nuclear
programme has been restored.
2. Political and economic
Support for a new conference to promote dialogue
and cooperation on regional security issues.
International trade and
Improving Iran's access to the international economy, markets
and capital, through practical support for full integration into international
structures, including the World Trade Organization and to create the framework
for increased direct investment in Iran and trade with Iran (including a trade
and economic cooperation agreement with the European Union). Steps would be taken
to improve access to key goods and technology.
aviation cooperation, including the possible removal of restrictions on United
States and European manufacturers in regard to the export of civil aircraft to
Iran, thereby widening the prospect of Iran renewing its fleet of civil airliners.
Establishment of a long-term energy partnership between
Iran and the European Union and other willing partners, with concrete and practical
the modernization of Iran's telecommunication infrastructure and advanced Internet
provision, including by possible removal of relevant United States and other export
High technology cooperation
Cooperation in fields
of high technology and other areas to be agreed upon.
for agricultural development in Iran, including possible access to United States
and European agricultural products, technology and farm equipment.
South African government
Let me again say, when South Africa as a non-permanent
member of the Security Council received a copy of the resolution drafted by the
P5+Germany, we, like many other countries proposed some amendments while arguing
that we required explanations regarding the conclusions arrived at by the P5+Germany.
did this within the context of believing that Iran's right, like South Africa's,
to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes cannot be challenged, but because
of the past experiences, there is an area of distrust so there are two fundamental
issues that must be tackled:
1. Iran's right to have nuclear energy for
peaceful purposes; and
2. the international community's concern that international
safeguards must be put in place before they can be convinced that there is no
intention, despite what is being said by the Iranians, to diversify its programme
from a peaceful programme to a weapons programme.
It is in this context
that we have called on the Iranians, within the IAEA, the Security Council and
bilaterally to conclude their negotiations with the IAEA so that the IAEA can
conclude that Iran has no intentions of diversifying its programme. We believe
this is fundamental to dealing with the mistrust between Iran and many members
of the international community.
The South African government and others
proposed amendments to the resolution crafted by the P5+Germany after secret negotiations.
The reaction of the South African media was inexplicably hostile. The media suggested
we were trying to be difficult and trying to scupper the resolution.
cannot understand why, South Africa, as a member of the Security Council, when
given a draft document we had not previously seen, do not have the right to propose
amendments and seek explanations. We will never allow ourselves to becoming rubber
stamps within the UN or any other multilateral grouping.
We made our views
known through negotiations and based on this we voted in support of the resolution
on Saturday 24 March 2007. Following our consultations with NAM and other non-permanent
members of the Security Council we voted in the best interests of finding a solution
and not further escalating a very dangerous situation. I hope that people are
convinced that the threat of another arena of conflict in the region is becoming
a very real possibility and this will threaten international peace and security.
We made it clear that when we proposed our amendments and began negotiations,
we did not do so with positions cast in stone. We were prepared to adjust and
compromise our positions based on the negotiations and discussions.
emphasize that we had not seen the draft resolution. The South African government
will not merely accept a document without discussions and explanations and if
necessary submit amendments.
We would not be worthy of membership of any
multilateral grouping if it has to be that we must simply accept any document
that is put before us.
As members of the IAEA we have always insisted that
the IAEA with the correct scientific expertise is the body best placed to deal
with nuclear non-proliferation issues. The IAEA remains seized with the matter
and the matter must be resolved in the IAEA.
It is in this context that
South Africa's permanent representative to the UN supported the resolution.
will see his statement is in line with many of our positions already articulated.
do hope that you will now have a better understanding of the positions of the
South African government. Many of the suggested amendments of the South African
government and others were accepted. Not all were accepted but we do believe that
that few days of negotiations enabled us to make our positions known and on that
basis come to a collective outcome.
STATEMENT IN EXPLANATION OF THE VOTE
BY AMBASSADOR DUMISANI KUMALO OF SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa will vote
for the resolution before the Security Council today. This resolution, although
far from ideal, is a consequence of concern about the need to build international
confidence in Iran's nuclear programme.
South Africa approached this resolution
on its merits and with a perspective of a country that is not a party to any dispute
The Council is well aware that South Africa is fully committed
to the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction, and is therefore a strong
advocate against both the horizontal and vertical proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Inevitably, we are against the development of nuclear weapons by Iran, or any
other country. Our position is informed by our own national experience as the
only country to have voluntarily dismantled its nuclear weapons and related programmes.
In this regard South Africa acts on the basis of principle and in full
support of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA), where it is active as a Member of its Board of Governors
and works consistently to promote consensus.
Whilst South Africa recognises
that Security Council may be called upon to impose coercive measures such as sanctions,
we believe these measures should be utilised with great caution, and only to support
the resumption of political dialogue and negotiations to achieve a peaceful solution.
South Africa's interventions in the Security Council have therefore focused
on trying to de-escalate tensions, promote dialogue to establish confidence in
the nuclear programme of Iran, ensure that the IAEA inspectors remain on the ground
in Iran and that Iran remains part of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Africa has always been very clear as a matter of principle that the UN Security
Council must remain within its mandate of addressing threats to international
peace and security. If the co-sponsors of this resolution were convinced that
the Iranian programme was a threat to international peace, then the Security Council
should have been asked to take a decision on a draft that would have concentrated
on that, and not act as if the Iranian Government itself posed a threat to international
peace and security.
South Africa proposed a number of constructive amendments
to the draft resolution. Our purpose was to assist the Security Council to find
language for a new resolution that matched the stated objectives of the co-sponsors
that the resolution would be "proportionate, incremental and reversible".
While we remain disappointed that not all our proposals were accommodated,
the resolution does, however, correctly acknowledge that there is a need to respect
the right of all countries, including Iran, to exploit the peaceful uses of nuclear
technology subject to appropriate safeguards. We are particularly pleased with
the fact that the resolution now reaffirms the need of all State Parties to the
NPT to comply fully with all their obligations, which corresponds to our view
that the twin obligations to nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation
require our equal attention. After all, there is no basis for arguing that weapons
of mass destruction are safe in some hands and not in others.
that the IAEA has been able to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material
in Iran. However, we share the concern of the IAEA Director General that the Agency
continues to be unable "to reconstruct fully the history of Iran's nuclear
programme and some of its components" because the necessary level of transparency
and cooperation have not been provided by Iran.
Like other Members of
this Council, South Africa sought to engage in the negotiation process in its
national capacity, mindful of the duty bestowed on all Council members to contribute
towards a peaceful and negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear standoff, which
is an issue that affects the entire international community, indeed humanity as
The fifteen Member States of the Security Council will take a
difficult decision and, after today's vote, a great deal of work still lies ahead
if the international community hopes to prevent heightened tensions from spiralling
out of control, to the detriment of all. A path needs to be urgently found back
to negotiations, restraint and compromise on all sides. South Africa therefore
hopes that the latest offer by Iran to resume negotiations will lead to concrete
South Africa urges Iran to provide the necessary assistance and
cooperation to the Agency in its efforts to resolve the outstanding issues as
soon as possible since this will make a substantial contribution to building confidence
in Iran's nuclear programme. It is imperative that confidence is established in
Iran's nuclear programme for peaceful purposes.
Every effort must be made
to resume dialogue and enter into meaningful negotiations to find a sustainable
long-term solution to this matter since no one will win through a process of confrontation
that can lead to disastrous consequences in a highly volatile region.
the support of this resolution would not be perceived as an obstacle for future
negotiations. It is in that spirit that we vote in favour of this resolution.
by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
The Secretary-General notes with
satisfaction the Security Council's unanimity in adopting resolution 1747 of 24
March 2007. He calls on the Islamic Republic of Iran to fully implement the resolution's
provisions and to urgently take the necessary steps to restore the international
community's trust that its nuclear programme is peaceful in nature.
Secretary-General believes that a negotiated solution would strengthen the international
non-proliferation regime and hopes that dialogue will resume on this issue of
STATEMENT BY FOREIGN MINISTERS OF P5 + GERMANY
following is a statement by the Foreign Ministers of China, France, Germany, Russia,
the United Kingdom, the United States of America, with the Support of the High
Representative of the European Union:
The unanimous adoption of Security
Council Resolution 1747 reflects the international community's profound concerns
over Iran's nuclear programme. We deplore Iran's failure to comply with the earlier
resolutions of the Security Council and the IAEA, and we call upon Iran once again
to comply fully with all its international obligations.
We are committed
to seeking a negotiated solution that would address the international community's
concerns. The purpose of negotiations would be to reach a comprehensive agreement
with Iran, based on mutual respect, that would re-establish international confidence
in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme and open the way
to improving relations and developing wider cooperation between Iran and all our
We recognise Iran's rights under the NPT to develop research,
production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in conformity with
its NPT obligations. In this respect, future arrangements, modalities and timing
will be dealt with in negotiations.
Full transparency and cooperation by
Iran with the IAEA is essential in order to address outstanding concerns. We reiterate
our full support for the IAEA and its staff.
We stand by our "suspension
for suspension" proposal. That means that for the duration of negotiations,
which would take place within an agreed timeframe, extendable by mutual agreement,
Iran would maintain an IAEA verified suspension as required by Security Council
Resolutions 1737 and 1747, and Security Council discussion of Iran's nuclear programme
would also be suspended, as would the implementation of the measures adopted under
the relevant Security Council Resolutions.
We reconfirm the proposals we
presented to Iran in June 2006. They include cooperation with Iran on civil nuclear
energy, legally-binding guarantees on the supply of nuclear fuel, and wider political
security and economic cooperation. These proposals remain on the table.
urge Iran to take this opportunity to engage with us all and to find a negotiated
way forward. Our proposals would bring far-reaching benefits to Iran and to the
region, and they provide a means to address the international community's concerns
while taking account of Iran's legitimate interests. In a region that has known
too much instability and violence, let us find an agreed way forward that builds
confidence and promotes peace and mutual respect. In this spirit, we propose further
talks with the Islamic Republic of Iran to see if a mutually acceptable way can
be found to open negotiations.
Remarks by Iranian President
president said Sunday 25 March 2007 that Iran will definitely continue its peaceful
and legal nuclear activities regardless of a UN Security Council resolution issued
Saturday in this regard.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the adoption
of this resolution is a fresh act along other spiteful and vicious movements of
certain powers since the victory of the great Islamic revolution.
at the first session of the cabinet in the new Iranian year, the president remarked
that the recent illegal resolution is nothing new to the Iranian people. He added
that some powers who have made up certain mechanisms like the Security Council
after the second World War, are trying to consolidate their dominance worldwide
and are against the prosperity and independence of the Iranian nation.
also said that the enemies have once again perpetrated a mistake about the great
Iranian nation who are united and determined in pursuing their lofty aspirations.
Referring to the resolution, Ahmadinejad said such acts would only bring
international bodies into disrepute and removes the nations trust in them.
by Iranian Government Spokesman
Government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham
announced on Sunday 25 March 2007 that the government had decided to reconsider
cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
UN Security Council Resolution (1747) against Iran ''illegal'', Elham noted, ''The
Council of Ministers met Sunday evening under chairmanship of President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad to discuss a recent law passed by the Majlis (27.12.06) obliging the
government to review its cooperation with IAEA. The cabinet meeting decided that
Iran Atomic Energy Organization should halt part of its cooperation with IAEA
until Iran's case returns to IAEA from the Security Council and the situation
gets back to normal.''
He added that IAEA had agreed in line with safeguards
agreement with IAEA to increase cooperation with the agency ''but this cooperation
will stop until Iran's case returns to IAEA from the Security Council and the
situation gets back to normal.''
The safeguards agreement, he added, obliged
Iran to inform the IAEA of all details of any plans and decision-making for creation
of any facilities and execution of programs related to its nuclear issue. This
is while, according to NPT, the member states are duty bound to inform the IAEA
of their nuclear programs just six months before.
Comments by Iranian
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki
Speaking to journalists in New York,
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that "a few select countries do
not have the right to abuse the Security Council."
Council has to be aware of its own position and status. Actions that are illegal,
unwarranted and unjustified ... reduce the credibility of the Security Council."
said Iran has repeatedly sought negotiations with the powers that drafted the
resolution against the Islamic regime: the five permanent council members - the
U.S., Britain, France, Russia and China - and Germany. But he accused those countries
of lacking the political will to reach a diplomatic solution.
political will existed, the other side wouldn't have imposed preconditions on
the talks," Mottaki said, referring to demands by the U.S. and its allies
that Iran first halt enrichment before engaging in negotiations on its nuclear
He said the Iranian government will examine the resolution and
issue a response in the next few days. He added the world has two options to proceed
on the nuclear issue: continued negotiations or confrontation.
the path of the resolution ... will be the wrong choice. Of course, it will have
its own consequences," he said without elaborating.
interview with Spiegel:
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki
in an interview with Spiegel recalled the United Nations Security Council Resolution
50 years ago in which the world body termed nationalization of Iranian oil industry
as "detrimental to international peace and security".
the UN action 50 years ago to the resolution 1747 both aiming to deprive Iran
of legitimate rights.
He said that every country is obligated to respect
the decisions of the UN but the Security Council should not jeopardize its legitimate
powers through illegal behavior and pressures from individual member states.
is a historical precedent. Iran was in the process of completing the nationalization
of its oil industry. The beginning of this nationalization process was the subject
of debate in the Security Council 50 years ago. It too was seen as a threat to
peace and stability at the time, which of course was absurd. In the nuclear conflict,
the question that now arises is for which offense we are actually being punished?
Uranium enrichment is one of the fundamental rights of every country.
cannot invest billions of dollars in our nuclear power plants and then rely on
the help of other nations to produce and supply the fuel.
He said that
if the Security Council sends back Iran's nuclear case to the IAEA once again,
the Iranian parliament will ratify the Additional Protocol to Non-Proliferation
"We are the ones who must tolerate sanctions today,
and that's why we are opposed to boycotts to achieve political interests. But
of course we too must be granted the right to a full energy supply."
International Reactions to Resolution 1747
Comments by Russian and
The stand-off over Iran's nuclear ambitions should
be resolved exclusively through peaceful means, Russian and Chinese leaders said
in a resolution signed in Moscow on Monday 26 March 2007.
China stress that the Iranian nuclear problem should be solved exclusively though
peaceful means and negotiations," Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian
President Vladimir Putin said in a joint declaration signed during Hu's visit
to the Russian capital.
"Russia and China also urge Iran to undertake
all necessary and constructive steps to carry out the appropriate resolutions
of the United Nations Security Council and the IAEA," said the declaration.
believe that Iran ... has the right to explore peaceful nuclear energy while adhering
to all its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty."
Co-operation with Iran
The EU foreign policy chief said Javier Solana
said he hopes to resume negotiations with Iran following the UN decision to impose
new sanctions aimed at forcing Tehran to curb its nuclear programme and that he
was seeking immediate talks with Iran's leading negotiator, Ali Larijani.
want to get in touch with Dr Larijani, this morning (25 March 2007) if we can,
to try to find a route that would allow us to go into the negotiations,"
Solana told reporters on the sidelines of a European Union summit.
door is open for negotiations, let's see if together we can go through."
Solana said talks with Larijani would seek to "prepare a route that
leads to a negotiated solution to this conflict".
Solana issued a statement
on Saturday night, immediately after the UN resolution was passed in New York,
that confirmed the continued "twin track" approach by the Europeans,
US and other world powers.
That involves gradually imposing tougher sanctions
if Iran fails to halt uranium enrichment but offering negotiations on economic
and political advantages for Iran if it falls into line.
"We want to
be as generous as possible," Solana said.
Comments by Belgian Foreign
Minister Karel de Gucht
"Belgium supports all the efforts that
lead to a negotiated solution and calls on Iran to accept the offer of the top
EU Representative Solana to examine how the negotiations can resume again,"
Belgian Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht said in a statement.
De Gucht said
the new sanctions on Iran are more proportional, more gradual, and reversible.
"They can be widened, if Iran does not conform with the various resolutions,
or they can be suspended, if Iran decides to cooperate with the international
community in accordance with the conditions determined by the Security Council,"
"As president of the sanctions committee of the Security
Council on Iran, it falls back on Belgium to oversee the correct observation of
this resolution. I call upon all the Member States of the United Nations to scrupulously
implement the resolutions," he said.
Comments by Saudi Foreign
Minister Saud al-Faisal
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal
on Monday 26 March 2007 called for resolving Iran's nuclear dispute through negotiations.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the 19th General Conference of Arab
Countries' Foreign Ministers, he noted that Saudi Arabia calls for the Middle
East free from weapons of mass destruction (WMD) without any exemption.
also added that all world countries including the Middle East states are entitled
to use nuclear energy.
Elsewhere in his remarks, he referred to the 2002
Accord of Arab head of states in Beirut, saying that it was the best and most
reasonable agreement to settle disputes between Israel and the Arab states.
to the agreement, establishing peaceful relations between the two sides depends
on Israeli withdrawal from all territories of Palestine it occupied in 1967.
section of the agreement refers to the formation of an independent Palestinian
government as well as the return of all Palestinian refugees to their homeland.
Pointing to the Mecca Agreement, he noted that the accord between Hamas
and Fatah is considered a proper opportunity for the Arab world to preserve the
Arab peace diplomacy.
The minister said that the study of political and
security situation in Iraq and the Lebanese crisis was the other major issues
of the current conference.
Comments by Syrian President Bashar Assad
President Bashar Assad on Monday 26 March 2007 underlined that all countries have
the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Assad made the remarks
in a meeting with a Britain parliamentary delegation,
Comments by Pakistani
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz
Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on
Monday 26 March 2007 opposed the policy of sanctions and use of force to deal
with Iran's nuclear case.
"The Iranian nuclear issue should be solved
through only dialogue and it should not be addressed through any other means,"
Prime Minister Aziz told a news conference.
He said each country has the
right to acquire nuclear technology for peaceful use and it should be in the parameters
of the IAEA.
He said Iran has already signed the NPT and it will fulfill
It is clear that the resolution has now been passed,
it was deemed necessary since it was believed that the Iranian government had
not made sufficient progress in responding to the demands of the Security Council
since the passing of resolution 1737 in December 2006.
A time frame has
now been given to Iran to negotiate to see whether a solution can be found to
the concerns of the international community to Iran's nuclear programme.
do seriously hope that negotiations will intensify within the IAEA and outside
of this forum. We will continue to co-operate with all governments who are playing
a major role to ensure we do not create the conditions for the further exacerbation
of tension within that part of the world.
Minister Ismail Haniya, announced after talks with President Mahmoud Abbas, on
Wednesday 14 March 2007, that Fatah and Hamas, the rival Palestinian factions,
have agreed on the composition of a Palestinian unity government. We believe this
a very representative Cabinet and the first time in the history of the Palestinian
people is there such a Cabinet.
Let me emphasize that it is the view of
the South African government that the agenda of the Unity Government does in many
ways address the concerns of the international community and particularly the
It is our view that this programme makes it quite clear that it
accepts that the Palestinian Unity Government will, in terms of the document concerning
negotiations with Israel that empowered the PLO as the designated authority to
hold negotiations with Israel and the PLO Chairman, is a clear indication that
there has been fundamental movement within the Palestinian Authority and that
there is now an acceptance that we must work towards implementing the two-state
solution based on 1967 borders.
We do believe that the Palestinian Unity
Government has committed itself to dealing with the matter of the abducted Israeli
soldier and indeed with the issue of political prisoners.
They have committed
themselves to working with the international community and will uphold all decisions
of previous negotiations and agreements with Israel and will allow the Palestinian
President to continue to carry out negotiations to find a solution.
have committed themselves to improving their relations with some of the members
of the international community and have called on the United States of America
to review its relations with the government of national unity.
of the Unity Government
The government confirms that ending the Israeli
occupation is the key for achieving peace in the Palestinian territories, recognising
the Palestinian peoples right of self-determination, the government will co-operate
with the international community for ending the Israeli occupation, and the restoration
of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people which will enable us to construct
a solid ground for peace, security and prosperity in the region.
abides by protecting and saving the higher interests and rights of the Palestinian
people, preserving their achievements and developing it, implementing their national
goals, according to national councils, basic law articles, the national reconciliation
document and the Arab summits' resolutions, up on this basis the government will
respect the resolutions of the international legitimacy and the accords which
were signed by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO).
confirms that resistance is a legitimate right for the Palestinian people which
is approved by all norms and international documents, our people have the right
to defend themselves against any Israeli occupation, the government believes that
stopping resistance is related to ending the Israeli occupation.
through national reconciliation, the government will do its best to stabilise
the ceasefire accord and will continue expanding it to achieve an overall mutual
ceasefire accord in exchange for ending the Israeli occupation, assassinations,
raids, needs, demolishing houses, Jerusalem excavations, lifting check points,
roadblocks, re-opening crossings, lifting restrictions on frequent movement and
The government abides by what was stated in the national
reconciliation document concerning negotiations with Israel, where the PLO is
designated to hold negotiations with Israel and the Palestinian Authority Chairman
on the basis of adhering to the Palestinian national goals and implementing it,
however any fateful agreement will be presented for a vote of confidence in the
Palestinian Legislative Council first, or will be subjected to a public referendum
inside and outside Palestine.
The government will support all efforts done
regarding releasing the abducted Israeli soldier Saleet and achieving an honourable
prisoners swap deal.
The government stresses on its Arabic and Islamic depth,
it will establish correct, strong relations and ties with different countries
in the world as well as with the international associations including the UN and
the Security Council, and regional international organisations, this will help
in strengthening peace and world stability. The EU has offered a lot of aid to
our Palestinian people and its supported its right for independence and freedom,
the EU had serious policies in criticising the Israeli policy towards Palestinians,
that is why we are concerned about building strong and solid relations with the
EU, we still expect a bigger role from the EU to push Israel to respect the human
rights which were stated by international documents and its withdrawal from all
the Palestinian territories, stopping all continuous aggression towards our people.
government will also develop its relations with the permanent members of the Security
Council (Russia, China, Japan, African states and Asian states) thus ensuring
the rights of our Palestinian people. In the meantime the government will call
on the United States to reconsider its unfair stance on the Palestinian case and
it will call on the US administration to respect the Palestinian people's choice
represented in the formation of the unity government.
Based on this agenda,
it is our view and I want to repeat it, at last all Palestinian leaders have put
the interests of the Palestinian people at the top of their agenda.
in action, the Palestinians can now, decisively, continue to struggle for a Palestinian
state living side by side with an Israeli state.
It is still unclear how
the Quartet, EU and US are responding to this development in Palestine.
UN Secretary General has welcomed this development and hope this will allow for
a really creative approach to begin negotiations to end the violence that has
been going on in that part of the world for so long.
We will continue
to call on Israel to release the Palestinian funds, amounting to millions, that
it has blocked since the Palestinian elections in January 2006.
continue to call on the Palestinian Authority to stop all rocket attacks against
Israel. This has only resulted in massive Israeli military and other repressive
actions and has undermined the just Palestinian cause internationally.
will continue to call for the release of all political prisoners.
resolving the Palestinian-Israeli issue, no other major challenges in the region,
including terrorism, can be solved.
We therefore watch very keenly the Arab
League Summit that will be held on Wednesday 28 March 2007 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
is now clear from all emerging reports that there is a united Arab position to
push for the 2002 Arab Plan as a solution for the Middle East. As you know, the
Arab Plan is not a difficult plan to implement. It calls for the return of all
Palestinian land based on the 1967 borders and on the basis of a genuine attempt
to establish a Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel the Arabs are
committing themselves to normalise relations with Israel and therefore create
the conditions for a solution in the region.
We believe this will be one
of the most important Arab Summits in a long time. It is the first time that the
Arab community is being collectively decisive about determining the approach they
want to emerge from the Summit.
We hope this will open up the possibilities
for consultations with the Israeli government for a long term solution.
has been some talk of the Israelis seeking some amendments to the Arab Plan but
the Arab League Secretary-General Amre Moussa has made it clear that the 2002
Arab peace initiative is a basis for peace negotiations, and insisted that Arab
leaders meeting in Saudi Arabia later this week will not alter the proposal's
Mr Moussa rejected what some Arab leaders have seen
as a hint from US officials, including US Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice,
that Arab countries should normalize relations with Israel as a start for the
resumption of peace talks.
"We see nothing but (calls for) normalization....
It cannot materialize unless there are reciprocal moves," Moussa said.
Israel accepts the basis of the initiative, there will be negotiations and a peace
process," Moussa said. "Otherwise, the initiative will not be amended."
Egyptian and Saudi leaders have said they want the offer to stand as is,
and Syrian Vice President Farouk al Sharaa has been touring Arab countries urging
We will watch the Summit very keenly and we are convinced that
the conditions are correct for a real breakthrough in the region.
Abbas is ready for Middle East peace, Ban Ki-moon says in Ramallah
Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Ramallah on Sunday 25 March 2007 offered
full support for plans by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for achieving Statehood,
and stressed that the current critical juncture opens a window of opportunity
for peace in the region.
"President Abbas, you have shown an unwavering
commitment to achieving the self-determination and an independent State for the
Palestinian people," Mr. Ban said at a joint press conference given by the
"Today, you have explained to me your plans for advancing
this goal: unity among Palestinians; negotiations with Israel; a two-State solution;
a permanent settlement of all of the issues, including Jerusalem, refugees, borders,
and settlements; an end to the conflict with Israel; comprehensive peace between
Israel and all Arab countries."
Mr. Ban told reporters that he had
offered President Abbas support for these endeavors. "His vision of peace
is consistent with the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. I welcomed
President Abbas' commitment to the Road Map, and his desire to advance its implementation,"
the Secretary-General said, referring to an outline peace plan put forward by
the diplomatic Quartet - the UN, Russian Federation, United States and European
Union - for achieving a two-State solution with Israel and Palestine living side
by side in peace.
"I encourage this new Government, and I very much
hope that its actions will show a genuine commitment to the basic principles not
only of the Quartet, but of peace," Mr. Ban said. "Its immediate priorities
should be to stabilize the situation in Gaza through releasing the captured Israeli
soldier, consolidating the ceasefire, and bringing law and order back to the streets.
Such steps would address vital Palestinian interests, and would be strongly welcomed
by the international community."
The Secretary-General said he and
President Abbas "also discussed the importance of the Israeli government
taking steps to transfer withheld revenue, ease the closure and checkpoints, freeze
all settlement activity, remove outposts, and cease construction of the barrier
in occupied Palestinian territory."
He added that he would be encouraging
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on those issues during their scheduled talks tomorrow,
"as well as hearing his concerns and plans."
President Abbas and I agreed on the importance of this moment," the Secretary-General
said, citing a unity government that supports President Abbas negotiating with
Israel; renewed dynamism in the Arab world based on the Arab Peace Initiative;
and the efforts of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to advance dialogue.
The Secretary-General acknowledged the difficulties while voicing cautious
optimism. "Progress will be very hard. The obstacles are enormous. Achieving
peace will require all parties to go further than they have before. But it can
and must be done. And my message to Israel and to the world from here in Ramallah
is that I am convinced that President Abbas is ready."
himself to the Palestinian people, Mr. Ban pledged the UN's continued support.
"I have seen for myself the challenges that the Palestinian people face every
day, and I have been moved by what I have seen this morning," he said.
determination to ensure that we continue our support to the Palestinian people
has been fortified. So has my conviction that we must find a political solution
to this painful conflict. As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I will work
tirelessly in that cause."
Visit to region by US Secretary of State
US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is currently on a
visit to the Middle East. She has thus far held discussions with Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit.
There is some talk
of a new plan that is being proposed but we have not been briefed of this but
we welcome any efforts to solve the Palestinian-Israeli situation based on a two-state
solution on the 1967 borders.
Questions and answers
Deputy Minister, can you give us more information regarding the talks between
Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka and Zimbabwean counterpart?
The Vice President of Zimbabwe was in South Africa on a very private visit.
Both the Vice President and Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka met at a meeting not
organised by themselves and the discussions that ensued had nothing to do with
the internal dynamics Zimbabwe.
As you would have seen from some reports:
there was a delegation of Secretary-Generals of two factions of the MDC who held
discussions with South African officials on that same day.
It was also
announced by some faction of the MDC that they had met with the ANC, Cosatu and
I do not believe there was any pre-plan or anything more that
can be read into the visit of the Zimbabwean Vice President to South Africa. It
was a private visit on which she held discussions with an NGO. It had nothing
to do with discussing the broader Zimbabwean situation.
Minister Pahad, what do you expect the outcomes of the SADC meetings in Tanzania
to mean for Zimbabwe?
Answer When we went to the Lesotho meeting
last week, there was a meeting of the double Troika to look at regional dynamics
including Lesotho and the report of the Tanzanian Foreign Minister on the visit
of President Kikwete to Zimbabwe the previous week. The Tanzanian Foreign Minister
did inform the meeting that President Kikwete was consulting with other Heads
of State to call a meeting in Tanzania to, broadly speaking, consider the regional
To me, it will be very difficult as a Deputy Minister to speculate
on the outcomes of the meeting. We will go to Tanzania tomorrow with President
It will be an opportunity for all parties to put forward their positions
and all countries in the region have indicated their participation. We will emerge
from there with a communiqué that will lead us forward.
As you know,
there is a very important meeting of the Zanu-PF Central Committee in Zimbabwe
We will obviously hope to receive full briefings from everybody
including President Kikwete and the Zimbabwean delegation, based on which the
region can determine what actions need to be taken.
Question Deputy Minister
Pahad, is the South African government participating in the meetings with an idea
of an initative to be proposed?
Answer I cannot pre-empt the
thinking of the President.
I will brief you fully on the meetings when
Question Deputy Minister Pahad, can you brief us on the situation
in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
Answer We remain very concerned
about the recent escalation of violence in the DRC. It is conservatively estimated
that MORE THAN 120 people have been killed.
The former Presidential Candidate
Jean Pierr-Bemba who is also the leader of the MLC is still at the South African
MONUC is trying to see how it can negotiate a solution.
The MLC has just put out a statement calling for a truce and discussions to resolve
The Attorney-General has now officially put out a warrant
of arrest for Mr Bemba on charges of high treason and Prime Minister of the DRC
has apologized for the damage to foreign property.
It is a very volatile
and fluid situation. We continue to be seized with the matter since Mr Bemba is
on South African property.
We are in touch with the UN and the DRC government,
to see what are the possible options to resolve the standoff and normalize the
Many countries are expressing deep concern that recent developments
could erode all successes and advances that has been achieved thus far. We are
calling on all sides to act with restraint to see how we can find a solution based
on the MONUC facilitation.
It is clear that since Mr Bemba has had interviews with international media that
he has access to some communication. I suspect he is using his own communication
There is a lot of speculation re: asylum or no asylum. Mr Bemba
himself has not clearly indicated what his own thinking is. He is awaiting the
outcomes of the MONUC negotiations, on the basis of which he will decide what
he wants to do.
He has taken asylum in terms of international conventions.
We need to give him all the protection he requires until he deems it fit for him
to leave the Embassy.
Question Deputy Minister Pahad, when the Deputy
President crossed paths with the Zimbabwean Vice President, did the matter of
Zimbabwe come up?
Answer I was not in the vicinity and therefore
suggest you ask the Deputy President whether this matter was discussed. As far
I we are concerned, we have been assured that that matter of Zimbabwe was not
I have indicated that there are other channels of communication
between the South Africans and Zimbabweans, including the meeting of the two MDC
Secretary's-General who held discussions with COSATU, SACP, ANC and are reported
to have met with representatives of government.
Discussions were going
on. There was no need for any back-door discussions.
I have been assured
that there were no discussions regarding Zimbabwe - these were left to the correct
Question Deputy Minister Pahad, did President Mbeki receive
a call from Prime Minister Blair who announced this in the British House of Commons
yesterday? What are your views on the comments by the Zimbabwean President regarding
Zimbabwe? There has been speculation regarding a shift on the matter of Zimbabwe
- is this so?
Answer There have been long discussions in the
British House of Commons.
The Foreign Secretary has indicated that Prime
Minister Blair has spoken to President Kikwete and written to President Mbeki.
I am not sure whether Prime Minister Blair has talked to President Mbeki telephonically.
In any event, President Mbeki should by now be in receipt of the letter. I expect
President Mbeki will share it with us at the appropriate time.
President was reflecting his concerns. The Zambian authorities have made it quite
clear that they are committed to working within a collective framework to create
the necessary conditions to assist the Zimbabweans to move forward. This remains
the perspective of the Zambian government and is nothing new.
was referring to what he saw as a growing problem. We have been raising this issue
and I said last week that the Reserve Bank Governor Mr Gono, a month ago, presented
a detailed report of the crisis in the Zimbabwean economy.
You have seen
reports suggesting that within months the inflation rate will have reached 5000%.
The Reserve Bank Governor has indicated that there is a serious economic crisis
unfolding and called on the internal forces to begin an internal dialogue across
party-political lines bringing in civil society to see how they can dialogue on
Commissioner Konare, on behalf of the AU, has also indicated
his concerns. The South African government has issued a statement as has the ANC.
President Kufour, speaking in London, expressed his concerns as Chairman of the
There is no shift in positions. It is clear that the economic
situation is reaching dire proportions and people are saying it is impacting on
We need to work together, and this remains our position, how
do we collectively work together within SADC and the AU to help the Zimbabweans
find a solution to their challenges.
Question Deputy Minister Pahad,
you speak of an economic crisis in Zimbabwe. Is there a humanitarian or political
crisis in Zimbabwe? Do you have any insight into the conversation between President
Mbeki and President Mugabe?
Answer On the conversation between
Presidents Mbeki and Mugabe - I am not privy to conversations between Heads of
State - these are not channelled through my office. They must obviously have exchanged
views on the current situation in Zimbabwe. I cannot see that they would call
each other to discuss the Zimbabwean cricket teams performance in the World Cup.
We have consistently said that there is a socio-economic and political crisis
in Zimbabwe that has been developing over many years. We have also consistently
said that we must see what we can do to help the Zimbabweans out of this quagmire.
I have previously said that the violence that broke out a few weeks ago is a symptom
of what is the broader political and socio-economic crisis in Zimbabwe and this
must be handled.
We will continue to work as we have been working - this
term "quiet diplomacy" is a misnomer - it is "constructive diplomacy".
If you have been following the debates in the British House of Commons as well
as the EU discussions, the British are saying they cannot do anything alone. They
have to work with the EU and the AU to effectively address this situation. Everybody
is saying this and it is accepted as a given.
Yet when the South African
government say the same thing - ie. South Africa cannot independently bring about
a solution in Zimbabwe or anywhere else - unless we work collectively within SADC
if it is within the region or the AU if it beyond the region, there is nothing
we can achieve in isolation of a collective solution, everybody says the same
thing, yet we are taken to task over this position.
I do believe we cannot
act independently of the SADC region. In the end we can only implement a collective
Everyone talks of a crisis yet I cannot understand what
crisis is being faced by countries abroad. We have a crisis in the region with
an undocumented 2 million illegal immigrants rapidly rising to a figure of 3 million.
It is clear that we are facing a dire situation and it cannot be otherwise since
the economies of South Africa and Zimbabwe are very interlinked. In the pre-apartheid
days and in the days of Ian Smith, there was a lot of interaction between the
private sectors of Zimbabwe and South Africa. South Africa will therefore suffer
the most if we are unable to find a solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe.
We have a historic and real responsibility in our own interests to help find a
solution. It is no longer, and never was, an academic situation for South Africa.
If there are governments suggesting we do more, it would be helpful if we were
told what more to do. It is not helpful to sit far away and make militant statements.
I am looking forward to tomorrow's parliamentary debate and hope the opposition
can formulate some constructive suggestions on how to address the Zimbabwean challenges.
I want to repeat that we will never make militant statements for the sake of self-gratification
or to satisfy foreign governments.
Our objective is to help normalise the
situation and to protect ourselves from any further serious impact from the Zimbabwean
We continually ask those who have criticised us for following
an approach of "quite diplomacy" what has succeeded? It is now becoming
apparent that the route pursued by the US and EU has also not worked. I did say
last week that if we had worked together to find a common approach to the Zimbabwean
situation then we would not find ourselves confronted with the crisis we do so
I want to remind you that President Mbeki was quite forthright that
you could not debate the matter of land reform. But he was quite critical that
the way in which the programme was implemented was flawed. He has been critical
since the Victoria Falls meeting in 2000 on how elements of the programme we being
I think we have selective amnesia. When we do constructively
raise our concerns about the situation such things are forgotten. All that happens
is that we are criticised regarding our policy of "quiet diplomacy."
I would encourage you to go back to your notes, from the time that the we commented
on the land reform programme, our discussions with the British government to raise
funds for the land programme, you will see a consistent approach on how we tried
to resolve the problem.
I really believe the time has come for us to sit
down together to evaluate constructively and critically what has succeeded, what
has not and what we can do to resolve the dire predicament in which the people
of Zimbabwe find themselves.
Question Deputy Minister Pahad, is the ANC
involved in negotiations with the Zimbabwean government and what is the nature
thereof? You have said that other approaches by other governments have not worked.
Would you say that the approach of the South African government has worked?
The ANC is in constant touch with Zimbabweans at various levels. The ANC meets
with Zanu-PF on a bilateral basis but also within the context of meetings of former
Only history will tell whether we have succeeded.
This is work in progress.
Question Deputy Minister Pahad, will President
Mugabe be attending these meetings? Have you noticed a flexibility on the part
of the Zimbabwean government regarding 2008 elections?
know that the Zimbabwean government will attend the meeting but I am not sure
at what level.
I see it reported in the media about President Mugabe talking
to the Youth and Women's League indicating that he is working towards 2008 elections.
The nature of these elections have not been revealed in the media reports.
South African media reports are speculating together with the British newspapers
that moves are underway in Zimbabwe for consultations between 'factions' in Zanu-PF
and Morgan Tsvangarai. We are not privy to any of this. I hope we will be briefed
on this in the meetings in Tanzania.
Issued by Department of Foreign
Private Bag X152
27 March 2007