SA welcomes lifting of Eritrean sanctions

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The South African government has welcomed a resolution by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to lift sanctions against Eritrea.

The adoption of the resolution comes just over four months after the signing of the historic Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship between Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea President Isaias Afwerki in Asmara.

This was followed by Ethiopia and Eritrea signing an Agreement on Peace, Friendship and Comprehensive Cooperation on 16 September 2018.

“South Africa welcomes the decision of the UNSC and it is our hope that the lifting of sanctions against Eritrea will contribute to further advancing peace, security and development in the Horn of Africa.

“We hope that the lifting of the sanctions will reverse the devastating economic impact that it has had on the region and in particular on Eritrea,” said International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

She said the positive developments in the region over the last few months are further testament of the goal of Africa to silence the guns on the African continent by 2020, and are reflective of the political will by African countries to seek African solutions in resolving African problems.

Working visit to Switzerland 

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Luwellyn Landers, will on Friday undertake a working visit to Geneva, Switzerland.

Landers will meet with his counterpart, State Secretary Pascale Baeriswyl and co-chair the 9th South Africa-Swiss High Level Consultations (HLC), where they will discuss a wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues.

The purpose of the HLC is to take stock of relations and progress made since the last sitting, as well as identify new areas of cooperation to continue strengthening relations.

South Africa’s bilateral relations with the Swiss Confederation are guided by the annual HLC, co-chaired at the level of South Africa’s Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, and Switzerland’s State Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

South Africa hosted the 8th session of the HLC in Pretoria on 2-3 October 2017.

The Deputy Minister's visit will help to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries and new areas of economic and political bilateral relations could be identified.

Switzerland continues to consider South Africa as a strategic partner country with long-standing trade and investment relations. South Africa is Switzerland’s second largest trading partner in Africa, after Ghana.

In 2017, imports from Switzerland amounted to R10.234 billion and exports to Switzerland were R11.705 billion.

The balance of trade is therefore slightly in South Africa’s favour. Switzerland is the 7th largest foreign investor in South Africa, with more than 100 Swiss companies sustaining approximately 33 000 jobs. –