Deputy Minister Ebrahim Speech on the occasion Freedom Day Celebrations: 2 May 2012

Your Excellency, Deputy Minister Kairat Sarybay
Your Excellencies
Ladies and Gentlemen
Dear children

We are particularly happy and honoured to have you all here with us tonight to celebrate our 18th Freedom Day. Over the past, almost two decades, South Africa has grown and developed to be a strong and dedicated, if not inspiring member of the international community. Celebrating this day is a special event for us, a continuous homage to those who offered so much to make this possible.

While I am personally very pleased to be here in this beautiful city on this day, this is not the main reason for my presence. Tomorrow we will, with Deputy Minister Sarybay and his team, sit around a table to discuss and agree on the further advancing of our relations, and we will do so within the agreed framework of Political Consultations. We will share thoughts on national and regional institutions, and we will reflect on matters of international concern, with particular emphasis on international security, the economic crisis, and sustainable development against the background of alarming changes in the world’s climate.

We will also take a serious look at the instruments that we need - and those that are already in place, to further improve our bilateral political and economic relations. And we will discuss matters relating to a number of forthcoming high-level visits to be exchanged between our two countries.

South Africa offers many opportunities for cooperation in a variety of sectors and those are augmented by its stability. South Africa is a serious international and regional player and a respected member of many multilateral and other international institutions, including the UNSC, the AU, the SADC (Southern African Development Community), the G20, BRICS and IBSA. These observations are also equally applicable to Kazakhstan.

I wish to acknowledge the excellent contribution that the Number 1 Art School of Astana has made through the performance of its children here tonight. It is always a heart-warming experience to listen to and see our children perform.

Finally, I am delighted to extend my personal congratulations to the Republic of Kazakhstan and its able leadership during this year of celebrating twenty years of independence. The fact that we are also celebrating in 2012 twenty years of bilateral relations between our two countries, is an added bonus.

Your Excellency, I wish Kazakhstan all the very best for the future!

Thank you all.

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa