Deputy President Motlanthe undertakes a working visit to the Republic of Tunisia
11 April 2010
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, at the invitation from his Excellency Mohamed Ghannouchi Prime Minister of the Republic of Tunisia, will pay a Working Visit to the Republic of Tunisia on 14-15 April 2010.
The Deputy President will be accompanied by cabinet ministers and other senior government officials.
The Working Visit by Deputy President takes place within the context of South-South cooperation and the consolidation of the African Agenda. The Working Visit to Tunisia also takes place in order to continue the high level interactions between the two countries and further explore possible areas of co-operation.
South Africa enjoys a friendly and mutually beneficial relationship with the Tunisian Government. Co-operation in the fields of health, social development, defence, science and technology, culture and sport have strengthened significantly over the few years. Bilateral relations on trade, information and communications technology, energy and agriculture are presently receiving attention.
The first Joint Bilateral Commission (JBC) in 1996 launched formal relations between South Africa and Tunisia. A successful fifth JBC was held in September 2008. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, more than 20 bilateral agreements have been signed between the two countries focusing on various areas of co-operation. The 6th Session of the JBC is expected to be held in South Africa in 2010.
Co-operation in the field of health has been particularly strong with more than 80 general practitioners and specialists from Tunisia deployed in rural hospitals in eight provinces in South Africa. In addition, Tunisian ophthalmologists have performed more than 1300 cataract removal procedures in rural areas of South Africa since 1997.
These programmes are expected to be continued and expanded over the next few years. South Africa and Tunisia has also established a Joint Military Committee (JMC) and the second session was held in Tunisia in July 2008.
Tunisia offers training to South African defence force trainers on warfare in desert conditions to assist South Africa with its peace-keeping operations on the Continent.
Furthermore, a draft trilateral agreement on co-operation in the training of Malian archivists in the context of the SA-Mali project for the preservation of the Timbuktu Manuscripts is also nearing readiness for signature.
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe departs on Tuesday, 13 April
Enquiries: Vusi Mona on 082 047 2260