Dlamini Zuma to meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pretoria - Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is to meet United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday.

The two are expected to hold bilateral political, economic and trade discussions in Washington.

The talks come within the context of consolidating existing strategic relations between South Africa and the United States.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the US has supported many of South Africa's domestic objectives such as fostering economic growth, overcoming poverty and social imbalances, increasing the skills base and promotion of trade.

The US is one of South Africa's leading trading partners and ranks first as a destination for South African exports and is third below Germany and China as a source of imports.

Exports to the USA increased from R30 billion in 2004 to R41 billion in 2006, while imports recorded an increase from R26 billion to R35 billion for the same period. The US is the largest portfolio investor and the second largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Africa, after the UK.

The minister is expected to represent South Africa at the UN Security Council Debate on Wednesday.

The debate is expected to focus on how best the international community can support African Union peace operations that are conducted with a mandate from the Security Council.

During its term in the Security Council in 2007 and 2008, South Africa focused on developing a strategic partnership between the UNSC and the African Union Peace and Security Council.

South Africa intended on drawing attention to the need for the international community to assist with the funding and logistics associated with African peacekeeping operations.