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SA to participate in Colombia’s peace process

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Deputy President Paul Mashatile during a media briefing on the occasion of an Official Visit by Colombian Vice President, Mrs Francia Elena Márquez, Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse, Pretoria.

Deputy President Paul Mashatile has promised his Colombian counterpart, Francia Elena Márquez, that South Africa will participate in that country’s peace process to end the ongoing armed conflict.

“South Africa further welcomes your commitment to contributing to the success of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, as our continent is advancing peace, security and development in Africa and in particular, achieving the goal of an African continent free from war and conflict,” Mashatile said.

The Deputy President was on Friday hosting Márquez and her delegation during an Official Visit to South Africa.

Mashatile described Friday’s meeting as “historical”, as there has not been this kind of high-level engagement between the two countries since the establishment of diplomatic relations.

“Even more so, for us, to host the first Afro-descendent and female Vice President of the Republic of Colombia, indeed, we are very honoured, Your Excellency and welcome this progress in our endeavour to have more women leaders,” the Deputy President said.

Deputy President Paul Mashatile during a media briefing on the occasion of an Official Visit by Colombian Vice President, Mrs Francia Elena Márquez, Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse, Pretoria.

Deputy President Paul Mashatile during a media briefing on the occasion of an Official Visit by Colombian Vice President, Mrs Francia Elena Márquez, Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse, Pretoria.

Cooperation

The engagement, according to Mashatile, also represents a significant milestone to lay the foundation and roadmap for bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

He said both nations share values of democracy, peaceful resolution of conflicts, sustainable development, the rule of law and the reform of multilateral institutions.

“These shared values provided a good basis for building strong, results-oriented and mutually beneficial relations that will contribute to addressing our national development priorities.”

The Deputy President said the discussions to achieve a pragmatic roadmap for bilateral cooperation focused on various areas, including agribusiness; defence; environment; mining; energy; science and innovation; sports, arts and culture; trade and economic relations, tourism and transport.

“We consider your visit significant in many ways, especially as we begin to reactivate our bilateral relations following the election of the administration of His Excellency, President Gustav Francisco Petro, in Colombia in 2022.”

Mashatile also offered his congratulations and best wishes to President Petro and his government.

“It is imperative that South Africa and Colombia, as progressive countries of the South and other like-minded partners, should strengthen our resolve to advance the development agenda of the South and global governance reforms, with a view of renewing and pursuing our collective global commitment to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

Meanwhile, he said he was pleased with the government of Colombia’s policy to reactivate relations with Africa.

Diplomatic relations between South Africa and Colombia were formally established in 1994, with Colombia opening its Embassy in Pretoria in 1995.

Since the establishment of the South African Embassy in Venezuela in 1998, the South African residential Ambassador in Venezuela is accredited as the non-residential Ambassador of South Africa to Colombia.

Colombia is also the sixth largest trade partner of South Africa in Latin America after Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Peru.

There is a steady growth of Colombian investors in the food, beverages and confectionery industries, and South African investments in Colombia in mining and agribusiness.

There is also a keenness to revitalise tourism and address the issues of visas in both countries.

“Colombia is very interested in us sharing our expertise in rugby. They believe that that we should bring many rugby players to Colombia and we’re going to look into that, and see how we can promote sporting activities, including rugby,” Mashatile said. – SAnews.

 

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