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65th National Day of the Arab Republic of Egypt

4 August 2017

H.E. Ambassador Sherif Issa and Madame Dina Zeidan hosted a reception on the occasion of the 65th National Day of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Addressing guests Ambassador Sherif Issa said that both Egypt and South Africa share a common commitment towards attaining prosperity, dignity and welfare, not only for their citizens but also for all African people. Accordingly, Egypt perceives its relationship with South Africa as a key element of its African policy, and seeks to reinforce bilateral relations between both countries through joint integrated efforts to benefit the whole African continent.

Speech by Ambassador Sherif Issa

It gives me not only a great pleasure but also a great  honour to welcome you all here today at the House of Egypt. Thank you for coming to share with us this special day and defining moment not just in our history, but the history of the world and specifically our beloved continent of Africa. Today, we celebrate together the 65th anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution that took place on the 23rd of July 1952.
A glorious revolution that paved the way for the adoption of a set of comprehensive reforms that resulted in fundamental changes in Egypt’s political, economic and social life. Moreover, the entrenchment of friendship and brotherly bonds between Egypt and its great African sisters.
A revolution that initiated Egyptian championship of Liberation Movements across Africa, where Cairo was home to scores of African leaders in exile. Back then, Egypt provided liberation movements with extensive military and political support. Furthermore, it provided robust media and press coverage to the African struggle against colonialism in an effort to maintain African problems in the mind-set of all freedom-loving people across the globe.

I have to say that it would be unfit to talk about the 1952 revolution without tackling the role played by the mastermind and the exceptional leader behind it; President Gamal Abd El Nasser.
A true leader and champion of peace and neutralism, He and the members of the Free officers movement succeeded in the abolishment of Monarchy and the establishment of an Independent Republic of Egypt, and thought to spread the concepts of Liberation all across Africa by supporting independence movements in several African nations against Imperialism.
President Nasser remains an iconic figure in the Arab world and African continent worlds, particularly for his struggle towards social justice, unity, modernization policies, and anti-imperialist efforts. He was a leader who loved the people and who fought for them as well.
Such characteristics and personal traits made President Nasser inspiring to numerous great African leaders, such as the Legendary Mr. Nelson Mandela. Both leaders met during the 60s when “Madiba” was a freedom fighter back then, and a strong relationship was instantly forged as their visions of a free and united Africa converged. The relationship between Egypt and South Africa was then crowned by Madiba’s paramount state visit to Cairo in 1997 where he was awarded with Egypt’s highest honour by receiving the “Order of the Nile”, then again in 2015 when President Jacob Zuma concluded his successful visit to Egypt.

Ladies & Gentlemen,
Egypt and South Africa have a long history together that dates back to the 1940s when South Africa established its first diplomatic mission in Egypt as a Consulate-General. Our diplomatic ties witnessed a second boost in 1949 when the Egyptian Government decided to elevate its representation in the former “Union of South Africa” to that of a Legation.
Then during the 1960s, a group of representatives from South Africa's different liberation movements visited Cairo to solicit Egyptian support for the struggle in South Africa. This visit signaled the beginning of the end for official South African - Egyptian relations, as well as the beginning of the Egyptian government's public support for South African liberation movements namely the African National Congress or ANC, which continued for many years. Therefore, by the end of May 1960, relations between the governments of Egypt and South Africa were officially severed.
And let me tell you that the first signs of true normalization between both countries took place on 11th of October 1993 when both governments announced that full diplomatic relations would be resumed, and decided shortly after to upgrade their Representatives offices to the level of Embassies.

Ladies & Gentlemen,
Both Egypt and South Africa share a common commitment towards attaining prosperity, dignity and welfare, not only for their citizens but also for all African people. Accordingly, Egypt perceives its relationship with South Africa as a key element of its African policy, and seeks to reinforce bilateral relations between both countries through joint integrated efforts to benefit the whole African continent.
We have all noticed that under the leadership of both Presidents Mr. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and Mr. Jacob Zuma that dialogue and cooperation between our countries have grown stronger. Such spirit of cooperation has been reaffirmed by both leaders on different occasions.
Having said that, we still believe that current bilateral relations are modest and do not meet the aspirations of the Egyptian and South African people, especially if compared with what it could look like if
both governments unleash cooperative potential on all levels. However, the years ahead will definitely witness further significant developments in this regard.
Finally, I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude for the Embassy staff and technical offices for the excellent organization of this event.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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September 2017 Edition

 
 
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