South Africa and Egypt revive working relationship
7 April 2015
South Africa and Egypt have agreed to revitalise and elevate bilateral relations to a new level, given the many common challenges both countries face.
This emerged after President Jacob Zuma’s working visit to Egypt on 2 April, where he held discussions with his Egyptian counterpart, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, on issues related to bilateral relations and developments on the continent and globally.
"We have agreed to reconvene, as a matter of priority, the South Africa-Egypt Joint Bilateral Commission with the aim of consolidating areas of cooperation and to identify new areas of collaboration.
“It is imperative that existing bilateral agreements are implemented and that progress in the implementation of these agreements is regularly reported on in the Bilateral Commission,” said President Zuma.
President Zuma said they have agreed to accelerate trade and investment by urging respective business sectors to utilise the many opportunities that the two countries have to offer.
These include the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement and the development of the North-South Corridor, which President Zuma said will boost regional economic integration.
“We also agreed on the need to partner on infrastructure development, linked to the ongoing Nepad-related projects.”
With regards to developments in the region, the two Presidents agreed to collaborate to resolve the many challenges facing the continent.
"We agreed that it is now urgent to find, through peaceful means and dialogue, a political solution to the crises confronting countries in conflict situations.
“In this regard, regional organisations such as the African Union and the Arab League have an important role to play in that process,” said President Zuma.
They also reviewed the peace and security situation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
On the multilateral front, both sides agreed that the reform of global institutions such as the United Nations and the UN Security Council in particular, must take place as a matter of priority.
"South Africa and Egypt agreed to engage on the matter of UN Reform in line with Africa's position, as contained in the Ezulwini Consensus,” said President Zuma.
The Ezulwini Consensus is a position on international relations and reform of the United Nations, agreed by several African governments. The consensus is named after Ezulwini, a valley in central Swaziland, where the agreement was made in 2005.
President Zuma said discussions were conducted in a spirit of openness and frankness, befitting the strategic nature of relations between the two countries. - SAnews.gov.za