Remarks by Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa on the occasion of the joint media briefing following the Ministerial segment of the 6th Session of the South Africa-Algeria Bi-National Commission of Co-operation, 18 March 2015, Pretoria

Minister Lamamra
Members of the delegations
Members of the Media

Allow me once again to express my thanks and appreciation to you Honourable Minister for having come here to co-convene the Ministerial segment of the 6th Session of the Binational Commission (BNC) between the Republic of South Africa and the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria.

The Bi-National Commission reflects the quality of bonds of our deep historical friendship. We are proud of our relations as they are based on the solidarity and fraternal ties embedded over many decades that saw our peoples triumph over colonialism and apartheid.
Ours is an endowed relationship based on mutual respect, co-operation and solidarity. Our challenge today is to address the well-being of our people, to address hunger, poverty and want.

Minister Lamamra and I have just concluded very fruitful discussions focussing on our strategic bilateral relations and we also took the opportunity to reflect on continental and global issues of common interest.  We have also agreed on the need to work harder to take our bilateral relations on a new trajectory. 

During the past two days, we have witnessed heightened engagement by the Technical Working Groups. In the course of the said discussions, new areas of co-operation in the fields of trade and investment, ICT, arts and culture, science and technology and energy have been identified. We are anticipating that these initiatives will take our bilateral relations to the next level as we had wished.

With regard to the outstanding agreements and programmes of action, the two delegations have undertaken to ensure that there is rapid action with a view to speedy implementation.

It is our responsibility to give force and effect to the agreements and programmes of action. To this end, it is appropriate to recall Amilcar Cabral, who said, “The People are not fighting for ideas…things in anyone’s head. They are fighting for material benefits, to secure a future for their children and to see their lives go forward”. These agreements and plans of action are our instruments to secure a better life for our peoples. 

Let me re-emphasise our common belief in the importance of the effectiveness of the Bi-National Commission that brought us together in promoting socio-economic relations and sustainable development in our two countries. These will become a reality provided that we implement the actions and programmes discussed in the different Technical Working Groups.

Minister, I again thank you, and I look forward to the State Visit and the 6th High Level Bi-National Commission between our two Presidents, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma shortly in Algiers.

I thank you.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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