Deputy Minister Ebrahim Speaking Notes during the Media Briefing
Good Day Members of the media
I came to Cairo at the invitation of the Egyptian government to consolidate bilateral relations between the two countries. It is my humble submission that the Joint Bilateral Commission with Egypt that regulates the relationship between the two countries has been one of the successful ones.
South Africa and Egypt have entered into more than 25 bilateral agreements so far and have agreed during this visit that there should be continued interaction between the two parties at a higher level.
In addition, there is agreement that more, needs to be done in terms of economic cooperation. In this regard, the parties identified trade, tourism and investments to be pursued for mutual benefit, within the already established structures such as the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Economic Cooperation signed in August 2009 and the Joint Trade and Investment Committee (JTIC).
A fundamental principle of South Africa’s foreign policy is the consolidation of the African agenda. Accordingly, we believe Egypt should play an important role together with South Africa in the development of the Continent as well as in the strengthening of the African Union and its structures as Africa has been identified as the next growth point.
President Jacob Zuma is currently championing the “North-South” corridor roads and railways initiative in support of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa. This will enhance trade within the African Continent.
I am also here on behalf of my government to express solidarity to the people of Egypt for the revolution that has taken place and their process towards democratic rule.
I have met with representatives of Parliament who have been elected by the people of Egypt and are about to embark on the constitutional making process in the Joint’s sitting scheduled for 10 March 2012.
The constitutional process is as important as the Constitution product itself and its important that it be transparent and inclusive, wherein civil society and non-government organizations equally make a contribution.
To this end, we have expressed South Africa’s willingness to share its experience on the Constitutional making process and national reconciliation.
In conclusion I would like to thank you for your warm welcome and hospitality that was shown to me and my delegation
I thank you.
01 March 2012