Opening Remarks by President Jacob Zuma during the Official Talks on the occasion of the State Visit of H.E, João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, President of the Republic of Angola, Pretoria
Your Excellency, President João Manuel Lourenço
Members of our two delegations,
Good morning to you,
It is with great honour that we welcome you, Comrade President, and your esteemed delegation to South Africa on the occasion of your historic State Visit.
I thank you for graciously accepting our invitation to visit us so soon after your election as President of the Republic of Angola, making this your first State Visit.
To us, this means a lot and it undoubtedly affirms the historical ties between Angola and South Africa.
May I take this opportunity to once more congratulate you on your election and equally congratulate the people of Angola for conducting peaceful and democratic elections.
The holding of successful, peaceful and democratic elections in your beautiful country affirms our collective commitment to democracy and rule of law on the Continent.
Allow me to take the opportunity of your visit to thank former President Eduardo Dos Santos for his invaluable contribution to the development of Angola as an independent state. We also thank him for his sterling contribution to the liberation of Southern Africa against both colonialism and apartheid.
When the history and the story of our region is told, the contribution of former President Dos Santos should feature prominently.
As we meet here this morning, one of our sister countries, namely Zimbabwe, is sailing through a political process which has led to the resignation of President Robert Mugabe and the election of Comrade Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is being sworn in to office today.
We take this opportunity to congratulate President Mnangagwa and hope that with the support of the people of Zimbabwe, he will be able to steer the country successfully through this transition period.
We equally take this opportunity to pay our tribute to former President Mugabe for his gallant contribution to the Southern African liberation struggles against colonialism and apartheid.
I met President Mnangagwa on 22 November 2017 before he returned to Zimbabwe. He assured us that former President Mugabe and his family will be treated with the greatest respect and dignity and that he and his family would be secure in Zimbabwe.
We both agreed as well that the place of President Mugabe in the history of the liberation struggles of the continent and SADC will forever be remembered and acknowledged.
Our two sister Republics informed by our historical ties have over the years worked hard to enhance bilateral cooperation.
In this regard, we acknowledge the existence of various agreements and memoranda of understanding which span across a wide spectrum.
We would like to use your visit Comrade President to deepen our bilateral relations by paying a particular focus on economic and social cooperation.
We need to enhance our trade cooperation by encouraging our respective private sectors to invest in each other's economies.
We need to further explore opportunities in agriculture, mining, infrastructure development, energy, tourism, among others.
We cannot overemphasise the need to strengthen cultural, scientific and technological cooperation.
Considering our history, dedicated efforts need to be employed to encourage people-to-people cooperation.
Our two countries share common history, values of democracy, respect for human rights, social justice and international law.
These are the foundational principles that guide our cooperation as we work together in SADC, the AU and the United Nations system.
In this respect, we congratulate Angola for being elected as Chair of the SADC Organ for Politics Defence and Security Cooperation.
We are confident that you will be able to discharge your responsibilities diligently as you will always do. In our capacity as Chair of SADC, we look forward to working closely with you as we advance the SADC integration agenda.
Your Excellency, once more, welcome to South Africa. I do hope that you will find the facilities that we have placed at your disposal comfortable.
I look forward to our fruitful discussions.
I thank you.
Issued by: The Presidency