At the invitation of HE Jose Eduardo dos Santos, President of the Republic of Angola, HE Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa paid a State Visit to the Republic of Angola from the 19th to the 21st of August 2009.
This is President Jacob Zuma's first state visit to a foreign country since his inauguration to the Highest Office. This signals the importance South Africa attaches to her bilateral relations with Angola.
During the visit, the two Heads of State discussed issues related to the development of bilateral relations and the most important topics on the Regional and International Political Agenda, focusing primarily on those issues which fall within the Regional and Sub-regional domain.
Upon reviewing the main themes of the Bilateral Agenda, the two Heads of State expressed their unshakeable desire to strengthen the ties of political, economic, technical-scientific, and cultural cooperation, so as to elevate them to a level that corresponds to the primary interests of the Angolan and South African people, particularly in the field of infrastructure, trade, industry, agriculture, health, sport and recreation, and oil and gas. The two Heads of State also emphasized the role of the private sector in this process.
In this context, the two Heads of State reviewed the current Legal Framework of Bilateral Relations and expressed the will to strengthen it by identifying priority areas to this effect.
During President Jacob Zuma's visit to the Republic of Angola, various cooperation agreements were signed, namely in the fields of Regular Political Consultations, infrastructure, industry, trade, sport and recreation, air services and human settlements.
As such, the two Heads of State agreed to maintain a permanent and regular dialogue in an effort to harmonise their position on issues of bilateral and sub-regional interest in the field of energy, taking into account the interests of the Republic of Angola and the Republic of South Africa, as producer and consumer countries respectively.
On this occasion, the two Heads of State expressed their concern with persistent conflicts and with the emergence of new sources of conflict and the consequences of these on the development and well-being of peoples.
In this regard, the two Heads of State called on the African Leaders to show the necessary political will for a solution to the serious problems affecting the African Continent and the International Community, with a view to consolidating cooperation with the African Union and other Sub-regional organizations such as SADC, CEEAC and the Commission for the Gulf of Guinea.
Similarly, the two Heads of State also highlighted the need to strengthen cooperation between the UN and the AU, primarily in the domain of peacekeeping and security.
With respect to the International Political Agenda, the two Heads of State share the same opinion regarding the inter-connection between development, peace and security, human rights and the prevalence of the rule of law in International Relations as well as the creation of conditions that are conducive to the attainment of sustainable development on the African Continent.
Having acknowledged that the States are responsible for the development and well-being of their people, the two Heads of State emphasised the importance of implementing the Resolutions of the most important UN Conferences, including the Conference on Funding for Development, a condition which is indispensable for Developing Countries to attain the Development objectives within the time-frames determined by the UN.
In this regard, the two Heads of State stressed the importance of the role of the United Nations, emphasizing the urgent need to reform the UN, particularly its Security Council, transforming it into a more representative, equitable and democratic instrument consistent with the principles and objectives as set out in the UN Charter.
The two Heads of State reiterated their commitment to the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and those of self-determination and independence of the peoples.
In conclusion, HE Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa expressed his profound gratitude and appreciation to the people and Government of Angola for the friendly and fraternal reception accorded to him and to his delegation during his stay in the Republic of Angola. In turn, HE Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa extended an invitation to HE Jose Eduardo dos Santos, to undertake an official visit to the Republic of South Africa.
HE Jose Eduardo dos Santos, President of the Republic of Angola accepted the invitation extended to him, the dates of which will de determined at a later stage through the diplomatic channels.
ISSUED FROM LUANDA, Republic of Angola, Luanda, 21 August 2009
South African Embassy in Luanda