Relations between Poland and South Africa
Remarks by the Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe on the occasion of the Joint Press Conference following the conclusion of the Bilateral Meeting between himself and the Prime Minister of Poland, Mr Donald Tusk
14 March 2014
Our meeting today is a clear testimony of our joint commitment to strengthen bilateral relations between our countries. The same commitment was expressed during my meeting with this morning with His Excellency, President Komorowski.
This visit happens on the eve of the celebration of 20 years of democracy in South Africa as well as the forthcoming elections in both our countries this year. As we celebrate 20 years of democracy, we convey our gratitude to the Polish people for their support during our liberation struggle.
Both our countries have come a long way since the dawn of democracy in the 1990s. In this regard, we renew our commitment to continue building on our transitional experiences and strengthen complementary and mutually beneficial bilateral relations that will contribute to the advancement of our national development priorities, the African Agenda and a more democratic and equitable global governance system.
This is the best way we can honour the towering memory and legacy of our national and international icons, the late President Nelson Mandela and former President Lech Walesa.
The content and positive outcomes of our discussions today also displayed our commitment to a results-oriented partnership that will strengthen cooperation in the following areas: trade and economic relations; science and technology; education and skills development; maritime cooperation; agriculture and rural development and mineral resources and energy. We look forward to the convening of the Joint Economic Committee in the second semester of this year, which will elaborate action plans for each of these areas.
A delegation of South African business leaders travelled to Warsaw with me in order to strengthen commercial relations between our countries. These business leaders have already met with their counterparts involved in similar sectors and have made site visits to some of the factories and businesses with the aim of exploring reciprocal business opportunities.
We also had a comprehensive exchange of views on peace and security issues in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. In this regard, we agreed on the central role of the UN and regional organisations in facilitating diplomatic and peaceful resolution of conflicts. In the same breath, we reiterated the importance of UN reforms, especially the reform of the United Nations Security Council in order to enhance its effectiveness in the execution of its primary responsibility for global peace and security.
In line with South Africa’s foreign policy that favours peaceful resolution of conflict, South Africa urges the parties in the political stand-off in the Ukraine to settle the conflict through dialogue and international diplomatic efforts meant to produce a lasting peaceful solution.
We also exchanged views on preparations and priorities for the forthcoming Africa-EU Summit, as well as Africa’s Agenda 2063, the United Nations Post 2015 Development Agenda and cooperation on Human Rights within the context of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
It is my privilege to thank you Prime Minister and the Polish government for the excellent hospitality that we have received since we arrived in Warsaw. I look forward to experiencing Polish culture in the next two days.
I thank you.