Opening Remarks by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, at the Bilateral Political Consultation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye, Mr Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, 09 January 2023

Your Excellency, Minister Çavuşoğlu Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye and Esteemed Colleagues,

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to South Africa and for making yourself available to meet in order for us to discuss matters of mutual concern, bilaterally and multilaterally during these very challenging times we find ourselves in.

Your Excellency please also allow me to express my deepest condolence on behalf of the South African Government to the Government and people of the Republic of Türkiye on the tragic loss of life as a result of the explosion which occurred in Istanbul on 13 November 2022. South Africa remains steadfast in condemning all forms of violence and wishes to extend our sympathy to those directly affected by this tragedy.

May I also use this opportunity, on behalf of His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa, the government and people of the Republic of South Africa to convey our sincerest congratulations and best wishes to His Excellency President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the people of the Republic of Türkiye on celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye this year.

Today we have the opportunity to discuss and exchange views on how best we can work together to strengthen the good relations that our two countries enjoy.

I recall our fruitful discussions in the beautiful coastal town of Antalya in March 2022 on the margins of the Annual Diplomatic Forum (ADF). Allow me again to thank you for your invitation last year to participate in the ADF. I found the Forum to be most relevant from a multilateral perspective in advocating the critical importance of diplomatic dialogue. In this regard allow me to also thank you for your invitation extended to me to attend the ADF2023 to take place from 10-12 March 2023.

Your Excellency, I am encouraged by our mutual recognition of the importance of the values of peace and stability, democracy, the rule of law and the centrality of multilateralism in sustainable development.

Our meeting today also follows shortly on the visit by Deputy Minister Alvin Botes to Türkiye in October 2022 where he had successful discussions with his Türkiysh counterpart Deputy Minister, Mr Sedat Önal.

Co-chair, it is an honour to preside jointly with you over these Consultations today. Such engagements are indicative of our respective countries’ joint commitment to strengthen bilateral relations through dialogue and through the exchange of knowledge in different areas of expertise.

We look forward to a fruitful engagement on how we can activate cooperation in other equally important areas such as the arts, culture and sport, and science and technology, respectively. 

Our countries are active in regional and multilateral issues, and I look forward to exchanging notes on relevant matters in this regard that are important for both our countries.

I thank you

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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