BuaNews (Tshwane)

25 February 2008

South Africa: Country, Malawi to Enhance Defence Co-Operation

Pretoria — South Africa and Malawi have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will enhance defence co-operation through the exchange of experiences and knowledge.

Defence Minister Mosioua Lekota signed the MoU with his Malawian counterpart Aaron Sangala on Monday.

Speaking at the singing ceremony, Minister Lekota said the agreement would affirm the importance of the relations between the two countries and their commitment in the developing the defence relationship.

Echoing Minister Lekota's sentiments, Malawian Defence Minister, Sangala stated that the MoU signified another milestone between the two governments and in particular the two Ministries of Defence.

"I strongly believe that the MoU is indeed a means of consolidating the co-operation the two nations have enjoyed over the years," he said.

He added that the MoU would sought to achieve industrial co-operation in the field of defence related research, development and procurement of defence equipment.

Among other things, the MoU will also develop and formulate procedures for military co-operation between the armed forces and promote training of military personnel.

This will be done through an exchange of training instructors and observers, as well as the exchange of military information on matters agreed to.

Co-operation in the exchange of knowledge and training in the field of the United Nations and the African Union peacekeeping operations and the exchange of military personnel at all levels to enhance sporting and cultural links between the armed forces.

The two countries will also unveil the RSA/Malawi Joint Commission for Joint Co-operation that will create a platform for the continued engagements in political, economic, social and military issues.

"I firmly believe that the establishment of the RSA /Malawi Defence Committee is a critical confidence and security building mechanism and will play a vital role in maintaining and expanding our defence diplomatic relationship.

"I am certain that this will strengthen the good and friendly relations by means of close defence co-operation to enhance good defence working relations between our two countries. It will also demonstrate the mutual commitment and to form and develop defence relations between our two countries," he said.

The two countries will also work towards strengthening the good and friendly relations by means of close defence co-operation and acknowledge while demonstrating their mutual commitment and development of their relationship.

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