SA deepens its foreign relations

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pretoria – As South Africa marches towards 20 years of freedom and democracy, the country needs to be grateful for the support it has received from its partners and allies around the world, says President Jacob Zuma.

“Our country has come a long way with its partners the world over. Within a period of 19 years, we have managed to move from being a pariah state, to a great nation with a visionary foreign policy that promotes relations with other countries,” Zuma said in Pretoria on Thursday.

Fresh from his official visit to Japan, Zuma today received letters of credence from ambassadors and high commissioners-designate at a ceremony held at Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House. The new envoys are from Malawi, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, France and Poland.

The ceremony was preceded by a guard of honour and performance by a police band.

“Today we are honoured that Your Excellencies can be counted amongst formidable diplomats who have graced our shores, and indeed found a home away from home in South Africa, Pretoria,” said Zuma.

The new ambassadors and high commissioners got a few minutes each to talk to the President, sent greetings from their Heads of State and to put across their countries’ priorities.

The President officially welcomed the ambassadors, and stressed South Africa’s belief in strong ties with countries of the world.

He said Pretoria reaffirmed its continued commitment “to work closer with Your Excellencies and esteemed countries”.

“We do so because of our belief that our prosperity and developmental aspirations are inextricably linked. In this regard, we have made a call to our missions abroad to strengthen efforts in pursuing strategies for our economic diplomacy engagements.” –

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