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Media Briefing Remarks by President Zuma following official talks with the President of Angola

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Your Excellency, President João Manuel Lourenço;
 
Members of our two delegations;
 
Members of the Media;
 
Good day and welcome,
 
I wish to extend a very warm welcome to our esteemed guest and Comrade, President Lourenco and his delegation on the occasion of his historic state visit to our shores.
 
Mr President, we are extremely happy that you accepted my invitation to visit South Africa.
 
We have just concluded our bilateral discussions which were characterised by a unique spirit of solidarity and friendship.

During our talks, we have reaffirmed our collective commitment to forge a closer cooperation and strategic partnership between our sister Republics in keeping with the historical ties that bind our two countries.
 
In our discussions, we reviewed a wide range of issues including bilateral, regional and continental.
 
We noted with great satisfaction the ever-growing bilateral cooperation as demonstrated by the existence of thirty-three agreements and memoranda of understanding.
 
These agreements cover various fields including agriculture, health, energy, arts and culture, education, immigration, defence and security, immigration, trade and industry, transport and housing.
 
Guided and informed by our historical ties, we have today decided to elevate our structured bilateral mechanism to the level of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) which will be presided over by the Heads of State.
 
The BNC will bring the required momentum to consolidate and deepen bilateral relations in various areas of cooperation.
 
We welcome the agreements that have just been signed. They are all critical to enhancing bilateral cooperation. The visa waiver for ordinary passport holders will facilitate easy movement of people between our respective countries.
 
It will not only add significant impetus to tourism, but will also further promote people-to-people contacts.
 
We have also agreed to prioritise economic cooperation through trade and investment in order to grow our respective economies and thus create job opportunities.
 
We further agreed to pay particular focus on agro-processing, energy, mining, and cultural cooperation.
 
Later this afternoon, we will have an opportunity to address the South Africa-Angola Business Forum, which is a platform for our respective private sectors to exchange information on business and investment opportunities in our respective countries.
 
We will encourage them to increase economic cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
 
We could not end our discussions without reviewing the political and security situation in our region and the Continent. We have noted that our region is by and large stable and peaceful.
 
This notwithstanding, we observed that the SADC processes in Lesotho are progressing well.
 
On the DRC, we have noted the announced date of presidential and legislative elections slated to take place on 23rd December 2018.
 
We have committed ourselves to support the SADC Facilitator to the DRC, former President Pohamba of Namibia to carry out his mandate. Equally, as two countries we are committed to assisting the people of the DRC as they prepare for their elections.

We have taken note of the latest developments in Zimbabwe, leading to the resignation of President Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
 
We salute former President Mugabe for his sterling contribution to the liberation struggle of Africa and our region.
 
We congratulate President Mnangagwa on his inauguration and wish him well as he steers the country through this transition period.

We wish to emphasise the need for the maintenance of peace and stability in the country, which I discussed with President Mnangagwa earlier this week before he headed back to Harare.

Mr President

As we carry out our respective mandates within SADC, as Chair of SADC and Chair of the Organ respectively, we have agreed to closely work together to advance our regional integration agenda.

On the Continent, we have committed ourselves to working together in pursuit of peace, stability and economic development.
 
We have reaffirmed the strategic relations that exist between our sister Republics, we have committed ourselves to work together to enhance close political, economic and social cooperation in keeping with a mutual desire to forge a special and strategic partnership between the two countries.

We are extremely happy with the outcome of our discussions.

Your Excellency, let me thank you for visiting us and hope that you will enjoy our hospitality.

I thank you.