Remarks by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Minister Sisulu after a Meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, HE Mr J Arreaza on 6 July 2018

Ladies and gentleman of the press and all dignitaries present.

Allow me to extend a warm welcome to you all to this interaction today, following my meeting with Minister Arreaza.

It gives me great pleasure to inform you that we held fruitful discussions which we intend to take forward, both bilaterally and on the multilateral fora.

The visit of Minister Arreaza takes place at a time when South Africa celebrates the centennial year of the birth of a hero and a heroin of our struggle, Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu, respectively. This month also marks the birth of the late former President, Nelson Mandela and by extension, the celebration of “Mandela Day”.

My congratulations extends to the people of Venezuela on the celebration of their national day yesterday where a brief commemoration was held in front of the bust of the great liberator of Latin America, Mr Simon Bolivar at the Pretoria Arts Museum. The hosting of this bust in Pretoria is a symbolic gesture, which further signifies our common history of the quest for freedom of our peoples.

As you are aware, South Africa and Venezuela have solid and cordial relations based on mutual respect. The visit of Minister Arreaza has therefore renewed our bond of friendship and cooperation and in this regard, I received from Minister Arreaza, a briefing on the developments in Venezuela on wide ranging matters, including the elections held recently as well as the regional socio-political dynamics.

I also exchanged with Minister Arreaza, South Africa’s continued commitment to Africa, our involvement beyond the region, including among others, our chairship of SADC, IORA and BRICS.

We also extended our gratitude to Venezuela, as one of the countries who supported us in our assumption of the third term to the position of non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

We have acknowledged that there is potential for both countries to find common ground on which to continue to strengthen the existing bilateral relationship between South Africa and Venezuela, specifically on the areas of Trade and Investment; Agriculture; Energy; Transport; Mining, Tourism and consular matters as the identified areas of focus for the relationship.

May I invite you, Excellency, to speak to the media.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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