Deputy Minister Ebrahim’s Remarks on the occasion of the American (belated) National Day, delivered on Thursday 15 September 2011
The Diplomatic Community
My fellow South Africans
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am honoured to bring congratulations from the South African Government on the belated celebration of the National Day of the United States of America (USA).
Our relationship with the United States is an important pillar of our foreign engagements. The two peoples’ quest for freedom and dignity informs our connectivity in many fields of joint co-operation. The recent visit of the First Lady epitomised the close ties between our two Nations, in particular the long standing friendship between the peoples of the two countries. I am certain that this friendship will continue to grow and prosper.
We also welcome the role of the investor and business community in the United States that has contributed to the economic development and job creation in our country. The trade linkages between our countries have become increasingly important within the bilateral relationship and in accordance with South Africa’s domestic focus on economic diplomacy.
The recognition by the AU of the Diaspora as Africa’s Sixth region and the establishment of an organisation through which the Diaspora can meaningfully contribute to Africa will boost this constituency’s contribution to Africa’s development. A significant section of the American population is of African origin, and therefore constitutes an important segment of the Diaspora.
We are mindful of the assistance given to our liberation movement by many Americans, and we would want to celebrate with the American people, the centenary of the African National Congress (ANC). We are delighted that our President on the occasion of his participation at the UNGA this year, he would also have an opportunity to interact with the American people, and thereby further strengthen the bonds of friendship between our countries.
I wish to point out that Ambassador Gips has been an excellent representative of his country, and although we may not agree on some policy issues, but his presence here has helped tremendously to strengthen bilateral relations between our two countries.
On that note, Ambassador Gips, It is an honour for me to share with you this celebration of your National Day, and I wish you, the people and the Government of America a happy belated 4th July.