Motlanthe welcomes two new ambassadors to SA

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pretoria - President Kgalema Motlanthe has welcomed two new ambassadors from Kazakhstan and Sierra Leone to South Africa.

Receiving Letters of Credence from Sierra Leone Ambassador Andrew Gbebay Bangali and Kazakhstan Ambassador Askar Mussinov on Tuesday, the President said: "Friendly relations can only benefit the continent."

Mr Bangali described South Africa as an "enviable democracy" of good governance and self sustainability.

He thanked South Africa on behalf of his government for all the help that was provided to the country in trouble times.

"We the government and people of Sierra Leone wish to reiterate our immense gratitude and appreciation to your country for all the assistance you have provided us especially after the end of the 11-year rebel war during which some of the most unspeakable atrocities were committed.

"The peace that the people of Sierra Leone yearned for returned six years ago but is still fragile," said Ambassador Bangali.

He further added that he hoped South Africa and the international community would continue to help consolidate peace.

Responding to this, the President assured Ambassador Bangali that they could count on South Africa in difficult times. "Do call on us when you encounter difficulties."

The President congratulated and reassured Ambassador Mussinov of South Africa's support to that country.

"Congratulations on your appointment, we would like to assure you of our support," the President said.

South Africa and Kazakhstan have substantial economic interests, which overlap in several important spheres notably those of trade, production and collaborative marketing of strategic minerals, technology exchange, machine production, as well as oil procurement for South Africa.