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Bilateral Relations with indonesia (Political)

Political relations between Indonesia and South Africa existed long before the establishment of diplomatic ties. Indonesia supported the African National Congress (ANC) during the struggle against apartheid, and maintained this position steadfastly, applying sanctions against the apartheid regime. It is significant to note that whilst Indonesia hosted the Bandung Asia Africa Conference of 1955, the host country invited the ANC to represent South Africa at this event The bilateral ties between the ANC and Indonesia provided a platform for Asian support for the struggle against apartheid.

The Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Indonesia established diplomatic relations in August 1994. The Embassy of the Republic of South Africa was opened in Jakarta in January 1995. The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia was established in Pretoria on 12 August 1994, while, the Consulate General was opened in Cape Town on 10 February 1994.

The two countries have worked closely in various fora, such as the UN, the Non Alignment Movement (NAM), the G-77, and the G-20 etc. South Africa and Indonesia work together in co-ordinating the activities of the New Asia-Africa Strategic Partnership (NAASP). They were also mandated to co-chair the next Asia-Africa Summit in South Africa. The co-hosting responsibilities created another platform for closer relations and understanding between the two countries. Also, like South Africa, Indonesia is an active member of the G-20, the world’s premier forum for international economic decision-making. In this regard, Indonesia and South Africa have new responsibilities and play a constructive role in pushing for reform of the international financial institutions.

A Joint Commission Agreement was signed during March 2004 to ensure a more co-ordinated approach in the pursuit of common bilateral interests between South Africa and Indonesia. The First Joint Commission meeting was held in Batam Island, Indonesia from 24-25 February 2008. Furthermore the cordial and friendly relationship was marked amongst others by the signing of the Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership for a Peaceful and Prosperous Future by the President of the Republic of Indonesia and the President of the Republic of South Africa in March 2008. This strategic partnership is aimed to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries in various fields. There are also several bilateral agreements between the two countries which have been signed, such as an agreement on defence cooperation, science and technology, cultural cooperation etc. These agreements serve as important instruments for strengthening the partnership and cooperation between the two countries.

A number of reciprocal visits took place before and after the establishment of diplomatic relations. Former President Nelson Mandela had a special affection for Indonesia and its people. He visited Indonesia four times — in 1990, 1994, 1997 and 2002 — to strengthen ties between South Africa and Indonesia. Former President Thabo Mbeki also paid a State Visit and led a senior South African delegation to the largest gathering of leaders of the South at the Asia-Africa Summit and Commemoration of the 1955 Bandung Conference in Bandung in April 2005. One of the highlights from Indonesian side was the State Visit of President Yudhoyono to South Africa from 17-18 March 2008 during which a Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration was signed which elevated the long- standing relations between the two countries to a new level. Indonesia and South Africa launched a Joint Stamp in October 2011, to commemorate 300 years of relations between the two peoples.
HE Mr. Pakamisa Augustine Sifuba
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