Closing Remarks by Dr Naledi Pandor, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation during the Bilateral Political Consultations with Mr Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Pretoria, 23 January 2023

Your Excellency Mr Lavrov,

The discussions of today were frank and open, and I am pleased about the progress evident on a variety of issues between our two countries.

Your Excellency, we attach great importance to fostering and deepening our strategic partnership by strengthening the structured bilateral mechanism between our two countries. In this regard I look forward to co-hosting the 17th ITEC Session during the 1st Quarter of 2023.

I look forward to the implementation of our commitments and a continued closer working relationship. Our goal is to work unrelentingly towards the upliftment of our respective nations and doing so through the instruments of foreign policy that we have at our disposal.

Our shared goal I believe is to witness a significant and imminent increase in economic, social, cultural, and scientific interactions between our countries.

We have reviewed the status of some of the outstanding agreements and reiterated our commitments in areas where work remains to be done. More importantly we should encourage our colleagues in other departments to be responsive to issues that we and our teams have identified as important for our bilateral cooperation.

I look forward to welcoming you and your delegation back to South Africa in the not-too-distant future for our BRICS engagement.

I wish you good health and a safe return home.

I thank you.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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