Motlanthe welcomes new ambassadors, high commissioners

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pretoria - President Kgalema Motlanthe on Thursday welcomed five new ambassadors and high commissioner to South Africa, saying they will all contribute to higher levels of cooperation and strengthened relations.

At a ceremony in Pretoria to receive their letters of credence, President Motlanthe greeted Ambassadors Dr Ahmed Mahjoub from Tunisia, Edgar Jos, Perea-Aria from Colombia and Marcin Kubiak from Poland as well as High Commissioners Kennedy Jawan of Malaysia and Ann Jacqueline Harrap of Australia.

The President assured the Tunisian government that the South African government would do everything in its power to support efforts of re-enforcing the relations that exist between the two countries.

The two countries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on health, resulting in close to 200 doctors being deployed in South Africa to increase resources at rural clinics and hospitals.

"We have only received positive reports about the work they are doing. We hope that your tour of duty will not only strengthen and cement our ties but raise them to a much higher level."

South Africa's exports to Tunisia include chemicals, wood, paper and pulp, machinery and insecticides. South Africa mainly imports products such as phosphates and woven fabrics from Tunisia.

Former President Nelson Mandela visited Tunisia in 1994, which was followed by a state visit by Tunisian President Ben Ali to South Africa in 1995. In October 2004 former President Thabo Mbeki visited Tunisia with an entourage of nine cabinet ministers.

Ambassador Mahjoub said his country was proud of the good deeds his country had done in South Africa. He hoped to continue providing support to the health sector.

"Tunisia and South Africa share the same value and principles aimed at promoting the human being and achieving comprehensive and sustainable development," said the Ambassador.

He added that the two countries have been working together closely together for the consecration of these values.