PRETORIA– Choosing South Africa for the first State visit abroad less than two months since his inauguration as Angolan Head of State is a “conscious option”, says President JoAPound o Lourenco who arrived here Friday.
Addressing the first session of formal discussions between the delegations led by the two Heads of State here, he added that the choice highlighted the importance of the historical ties which have long united the two countries and which are based on their common struggle against apartheid, the struggle for liberation and the democratization of the entire southern Africa.
President Lourenco underlined that it was the efforts and sacrifices of the two peoples, along with those of the other countries of the sub-region, which had allowed the building of a strong democratic and economic southern Africa and it was time to understand the advantages of closer and concrete co-operation between their countries.
He stressed that joint efforts at the bilateral level and within the framework of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to which they both belong could boost the development of both countries, the region and even the whole continent.
President Lourenco said African problems must be solved by Africans themselves to ensure the benefit of their general well-being.
Noting that the market of southern Africa, with more than 63 million people, was enormous, the president considered the local strength of each of the countries as weak unless the consumers have enough purchasing power and the economies become competitive at the global level.
Five agreements were signed between the two countries here Friday on the creation of a Bilateral Commission, a protocol on waiver of visas for ordinary passport holders, a Memorandum of Understanding on Police Co-operation, and one for Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters.
On legal instruments of co-operation, the countries had previously signed a General Agreement on Economic, Scientific and Technical-Culture, as well as for the establishment of a Bilateral Co-operation Commission. The two countries discuss their institutional co-operation twice at the level of the Bilateral Joint Committee.
Angola maintains political, diplomatic and economic relations with South Africa since 1994, after the fall of apartheid.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK