Motlanthe concludes Sweden visit

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pretoria - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has concluded his working visit to Sweden aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.

Motlanthe departed on an official three-day visit to Sweden last Thursday, together with Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Sue van der Merwe.

During his visit, Motlanthe attended the Olof Palme Day Conference.

He expressed his appreciation and thanked the Olof Palme Centre for ensuring that the burning torch of enlightenment embodying the superior ideals that Mr Olof Palme lived and died for, continues to shine the path that must be travelled by all progressive forces in the world.

"Importantly, it is only proper to pay homage to the towering memory of the late Mr Olof Palme, who paid the ultimate price of his commitment to our cause, indeed the cause of freedom everywhere in the world, and under whose inspirational life we are gathered here today."

The Deputy President also met with members of the Swedish Business Community, the Swedish Solidarity Groups and the Chairman of Stockholm Enskilda Bank (SEB), Marcus Wallenburg, among others.

As convener of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on 2010 FIFA World Cup, Motlanthe invited the people of Sweden to book their tickets to South Africa. The World Cup will kick off June next year and promises to be an exciting event.

The visit to Sweden was aimed at strengthening bilateral relations and enhancing "people-to-people" networks.

South Africa and Sweden enjoy robust political and economic ties.

The South Africa-Sweden Binational Commission (BNC), among others, advances government priorities in support of the African Agenda and enhanced economic relations with special emphasis on investment, rural development, creation of decent jobs and climate change interventions.

The trip followed the recent official visit to South Africa by Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Motlanthe expressed his confidence that this visit had served to strengthen even further, the bonds of friendship and solidarity between the people of Sweden and South Africa.