President Zuma concludes working visit to Equatorial Guinea
04 November 2009President Jacob Zuma has concluded a one-day working visit to Equatorial Guinea, aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.
President Zuma was accompanied by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of State Security Siyabonga Cwele, and Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters.
Speaking during his interaction with President Obiang Nguem Mbasogo, President Zuma said the main purpose of the visit was to personally convey the message that South Africa is prepared to do what it must to ensure the implementation of previous agreements between the two countries.
The agreements previously concluded are the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, the General Cooperation Agreement, and the Agreement on the Reciprocal Protection and Promotion of Investments.
“We are prepared to do what we must to ensure that our nations work hand in hand in promoting development, peace and prosperity for our people,” he said.
He said: “Though we find ourselves in the midst of a global economic recession, there remains great opportunity for economic growth and development on the African continent. This places a responsibility on all the countries of the continent to seek an end to the war and conflict that causes great suffering and holds back progress.”
Full diplomatic relations between South Africa and Equatorial Guinea were established in May 1993, and the first Ambassador of Equatorial Guinea presented his credentials to former President Thabo Mbeki in October 2003. President Mbasogo visited South Africa in November and December 2003, culminating in the signing of the General Cooperation Agreement.
South Africa is keen to promote economic relations in the areas of agriculture, mining, energy, tourism and infrastructure development, in addition to collaboration in the furtherance of the African political agenda including the strengthening of democracy in the continent.
The visit by President Zuma coincided with the release by the government of Equatorial Guinea of four South Africans imprisoned in the country for their part in an attempted coup in 2004. The government of Equatorial Guinea has indicated that this was a gesture of goodwill related to the visit.
President Zuma is scheduled to travel to Mozambique tomorrow (Thursday, 5 November 2009) to attend the Troika Summit of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, at the invitation of Mozambican President Armando Emilio Guebuza.
ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENCY
Any queries contact Presidential Spokesperson Vincent Magwenya on 072 715 0024