SA, European Commission concerned by situation in Syria

Friday, February 26, 2016

Pretoria – South Africa and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, have expressed concern at the humanitarian situation in Syria.

Meeting in Pretoria on Friday for the 13th Ministerial Political Dialogue, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said they reviewed developments regarding the Middle East peace process.

“In addition, we have reviewed developments regarding the Middle-East Peace Process and also expressed great concern at the deteriorating humanitarian situation and civilian casualties in Syria,” said the Minister during a media briefing at the end of the meeting.

She said the 13th Ministerial Political Dialogue took place within the context of the SA-EU Strategic Partnership, which represents the close collaboration which South Africa has with the European Union. 

The strategic partnership covers over 20 sectoral policy dialogues, covering diverse issues including development cooperation, science and technology, space, communications, migration, health, trade, education and skills development, peace and security and human rights.

“We have assessed the state of our cooperation and have reaffirmed that the strategic partnership, which is extensive and covers many areas, is working well in pursuit of our mutually beneficial interests,” said Minister Nkoana-Mashabane.

The European Union as a bloc with 28 members is South Africa’s largest trading partner and largest foreign investor.

Over 2 000 EU companies operate in South Africa, creating over 350 000 jobs, and producing value added goods that are exported and contribute substantially to skills development and job creation.

“The EU extensively supports our national development priorities through the Development Assistance, Multi Indicative Programme, which has allocated an amount of €241 million for the cycle 2014-2020. 

“The Multi Indicative Programme (MIP) outlines three priority areas aligned with objectives of  the National Development Plan, namely, employment creation; education, training and innovation; and building a capable and developmental state,” she said.

The Minister said the EU also contributes R1.5 billion to infrastructure development for domestic as well as regional programmes.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Mogherini also discussed internal developments in the EU and in South Africa, peace and security on the continent, developments in Burundi, South Sudan and in Libya as well as terrorism and migration. – SAnews.gov.za

 

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