New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Nation Re-Affirms South Africa Relationship

Windhoek — Namibia has re-affirmed its cooperation with South Africa, singling out reform of the United Nations system and ensuring peace and unity on the continent as crucial work that the two countries should carry out jointly.

Speaking in Cape Town, South Africa, President Hifikepunye Pohamba said: "Namibia will continue to cooperate with South Africa in our common efforts towards the reform of the United Nations system, especially the Security Council, in order to make it more democratic and representative." President Pohamba and his delegation returned to Namibia yesterday.

Pohamba also said it is Namibia's wish to continue working closely with the South African government, through the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), the African Union, the United Nations and other inter-governmental organisations to address the social, political, economic and developmental challenges facing the two countries and the African continent.

"Both our countries are committed to the maintenance of international peace and security. It is in this context that all efforts should be made to resolve conflict situations in countries such as Somalia, the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Guinea Bissau and other flash points on the continent. Similarly, we must take a firm stand against the unconstitutional changes of government in Africa," Pohamba said.

South Africa and Namibia signed three co-operation agreements during the visit where President Jacob Zuma and Pohamba held meetings to strengthen co-operation in various areas.

Zuma said the delegations reviewed progress made in bilateral co-operation and partnership. "We paid particular focus on key areas such as trade and investment, energy, transport, environment, science and technology, education, tourism, and security issues."

The two presidents signed an agreement to establish a bi-national commission that would meet every year, alternating between Pretoria and Windhoek. Four sub-commissions - diplomatic, economic, social, and defence and security - would also be established. The two countries' public works ministries signed a memorandum of understanding to provide for co-operation in areas such as infrastructure development and exchange programmes in building and engineering.

A similar pact on co-operation in meteorology was also finalised. "We would like to expand the existing co-operation programmes, especially in the areas of investment and trade, environment and tourism, education and training, energy, infrastructure development, agriculture and technical co-operation," said Pohamba.

The president also extended congratulations to Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, on her election as Chairperson of the African Union Commission. "We are confident that she will steer our continental organisation to greater success," Pohamba said.

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