Opening Remarks by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor at the Ministerial Third Session Bi-National Commission between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Mozambique in Pretoria (08 – 11 March 2022)

10 March 2022

Minister Veronica Mocamo-Ndhlovu, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Mozambique,
Honourable Ministers of the Republic of Mozambique and the Republic of South Africa,
Your excellencies; High Commissioners of both our countries,
Senior officials from our respective governments,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Allow me once more to say good morning.

I wish to take this opportunity dear Minister to welcome you my dear sister, and your delegation to our beautiful country.

It gives me great pleasure to have you here to consolidate the work of the third Bi-National Commission between our two countries. The Bi-National Commission serves as a vital mechanism for bilateral engagement between our two countries at a high level.

Our Bi-National Commission has not met since its last meeting in 2017. Despite this, there have been continuous engagements between various departments of our governments and a number of sectors.

Our heads of state have also been in constant contact with the most recent meeting, being President Ramaphosa’s participation at the commemoration of the Heroes Day event on 04th February this year in Cabo Delgado.

This and all the meetings I referred to are a demonstration of the strong and historic relations that dates back to the era in which we were conducting the struggle for liberation.

Our relations are informed by our common history and the geographical proximity of our two beautiful countries.

We also recall with appreciation, the support and solidarity of the government and people of Mozambique during the struggle for our freedom in South Africa.

My dear minister and co-chair our region as we discussed earlier is still recovering from the devastating COVID 19 pandemic, which has devastated our respective economies and led at times, to the awful isolation of our region from the rest of the world. As a region, we continue to battle insecurity, violent extremism, and acts of terror. We are grateful that SADC countries continue to be active against the insurgency in Cabo Delgado in support of the people and government of the Republic of Mozambique.

Dear Excellency, we have a lot in common as the two countries.  In addition to our common history of struggle against colonialism and imperialism, as well as our geographic proximity, we share the same aspirations for growing i.e., economies to create employment and to eradicate poverty and inequality.

We also share similar views on the security and economic development of our region, our continent, and the world. In a similar vein, together, we aspire for a just and secure world.   Our contribution to regional continental and international organisations reflects these imperatives.

The third bi-national Commission comes at a time when busy rebuilding and refocusing AI economies following the pandemic.

Our two countries have come a long way. And on this journey, we have managed to build strong, steadfast relations based on mutual trust and respect.

I believe today's deliberations will allow us to reflect on the areas of cooperation that we are already committed to and to further explore new areas of possible cooperation.

Of course, we cannot neglect to mention our concern about the conflict that is underway in the Ukraine/Russia region of the world. if there is any manner in which we could make a commitment to finding peace between these two countries, I am sure Mozambique and some Africans would make every effort to play a constructive and positive role.

I look forward to the deliberations that we'll have in this meeting. And I believe that they will lead us to develop even greater progress than our countries have achieved up to this point.

Let me conclude dear minister and my dear sister by once more welcoming you and your esteemed delegation to South Africa, your second home.  I regret that we don't have those beautiful prawns of Mozambique. I should have asked you to bring us some. But we hope, nevertheless, you will enjoy your stay in our country.

I look forward to us hearing the report of the senior officials which I hope is going to be a testimony to our intention to strengthen, consolidate and deepen our strategic bilateral relations.

Allow me dear colleagues to thank you and to request my colleague Minister to make her opening remarks.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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