Meeting President Zuma was "extremely helpful" - Clinton

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Durban - United States (US) Secretary of State Hillary Rodham-Clinton described her meeting with President Jacob Zuma in Durban as "extremely helpful".

"I really appreciated the President sharing with us his advance suggestions on how we can make progress to resolve issues affecting the African continent. 

"We in fact have the same goals for the peaceful, progressive and prosperous Southern Africa moving East and West. His advice was extremely helpful to us," she said on Saturday, after the two discussed a variety of issues particularly matters concerning the African continent. 

Ms Rodham-Clinton said they had discussed everything from regional issues in Zimbabwe to Somalia to Sudan as well as global issues like climate change. "In fact we had a broad and substantial discussion," she said. 

She described her visit to South Africa as a reaffirmation of the relations between the two countries and to further the discussion of US President Barack Obama and President Zuma.

"We have met to reaffirm the importance of the relationship between the two countries which him (President Zuma) and President Barack Obama had a chance to speak about at their meeting during the G8 Summit in Italy," Ms Clinton said. 

She added she had been tasked by the US government to ensure that the expectations by both Presidents Zuma and Obama are met as both work together on their bilateral relationship and on addressing regional and global challenges. 

President Zuma told reporters that both countries have two new administrations which are keen to take their relationship to a higher level. 

"I should not be surprised seeing Clinton here in South Africa, we both have same goals of strengthening our bilateral relationship and address regional and global challenges," he said.

President Zuma said they had discussed the necessity of transforming global institutions so that it reflected the interests of all countries.

South Africa was the third country on Ms Rodham-Clinton's seven-leg African tour, after visiting Kenya and Somalia. She is expected to travel to Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Liberia and Cape Verde.