Maputo — Mozambican President Armando Guebuza met with his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma in Pretoria on Tuesday to discuss bilateral cooperation.
The meeting, held behind closed doors, is believed to have discussed not only the current state of relations between Mozambique and South Africa, but also the forthcoming summit of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), which will be held in South Africa.
Guebuza has been invited to this summit in his capacity as chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The BRICS countries are regarded as strategic partners of SADC members, hence the need for top level political and diplomatic consultation prior to the summit, to ensure that SADC can derive the greatest possible benefit from the meeting.
Zuma was one of the SADC leaders who was unable to attend last Friday’s emergency SADC summit in Maputo, called to discuss the crisis in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and it is safe to assume that Guebuza briefed him on the summit’s decisions.
During the meeting Guebuza thanked the South African government for its provision of aircraft to assist in flood relief efforts in Mozambique, particularly in the district of Chokwe, devastated by flooding on the Limpopo river.
The aircraft, lent by South Africa for an indeterminate period, made possible air bridges that carried food and other relief items to areas that had become completely inaccessible overland, since the floods had rendered so many of the roads impassable.