Zuma welcomes new ambassadors to SA

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday welcomed five new ambassadors to South Africa and has expressed his confidence that their stay in the country will strengthen existing relations.

Zuma received letters of credence from Ambassadors Ali Yousif Ahmed of Sudan, Rodrigo Guillermo of Republic of Panama, Francisco Javier Marambio of Chile, Goran Vujicic of Serbia and Jacques Lapougne of France.

He said South Africa's prosperity and development depended on the support of other countries stressing the importance of healthy relations between the nations.

"Indeed this is an important moment for our countries. We had a very bad past of systems that promoted human rights violations but we must be happy today that we are good expels of democracy," Zuma said in welcoming Chile's Marambio.

He said he was looking forward to undertaking his first official visit to Chile early next year.

Zuma also congratulated Ahmed and told him that South Africa remained committed to ensuring that current political challenges facing the people of Sudan were resolved. In response, Ahmed said the government of Sudan was working hard, with the help of South Africa, to see the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005.

He said he was confident that Ahmed's appointment would intensify relations between South Africa and Sudan and the efforts that the two countries have made to bring about stability in Sudan.

Zuma also said his government remained committed to strengthening economic relations between South Africa and France, adding that plans were afoot to sign several agreements on the areas of trade, social development, mineral resources and trade.

Ambassador Vujicic said the people of Serbia and South Africa share a very long history of friendship and fruitful cooperation although diplomatic relations was established only in 1992.

"I see great unlimited potential in developing our bilateral relations. South Africa is an indisputable and undoubtedly robust regional leader," Vujicic said.

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