20 May 2018

Botswana: Visit Reinforces Relations

Mbabane — President Mokgweetsi Masisi says his visit to the Kingdom of eSwatini was to buttress the already existing cordial relationships between Botswana and eSwatini.

Speaking during a courtesy call on King Mswati III recently, he said after assuming the Presidency, he found it important to introduce himself and the new government to the King.

"We found it fit to come here and introduce ourselves to you and to pay true allegiance and commit ourselves to working with you for the betterment of our people, people of Africa and the international community," he said.

He said the visit was meant to pay respect to the bilateral relations, which he said he commits to grow, deepen and diversify.

Mr Masisi also said he was committed to expedite the Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation (JPCC) between the two countries. He said the cooperation would facilite further engagements on areas that the two countries already cooperate in and to explore them further.

President Masisi further pledged to carry the baton of chairing the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) as the tenure of the current chairperson, King Mswati III comes to an end next month.

"Your reign as chairperson was a successful one, hence I needed to touch base with you as a reference point in order that we don't waste your hard work as we take over from where you left off to make sure that SACU becomes succesfull," he said.

President Masisi also promised to do his utmost to ensure that SACU became a success story in the realisation of job opportunities to Batswana, the people of eSwatini and the SADC regional bloc.

He promised King Mswati that after the SACU business, the minister of tourism would host the King to enjoy the best of Botswana tourism.

"We come here in the spirit of friendship, to open up Botswana to you. When you come for the SACU meeting next month, you will be surrounded by the rigour of the sounds, smell and ambience befitting enough for a King in our beautiful Chobe where you will enjoy the splendor of Botswana," he said.

President Masisi also took time to introduce the chairperson of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi, Kgosi Puso, who was amongst the President's entourage.

President Masisi said he was humbled by the warm welcome he received, saying it spoke to the closeness of the relationship that Batswana and Baswati had.

"The warmth of your welcome is not strange to us. It speaks to the closeness of our relationship, going back to the times of our independence. Our relationship goes back to times when we collaborated in the area of education at the then University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland (UBLS) and inter-marriages between Batswana and the Swazis," he said.

President Masisi was accompanied by First Lady, Ms Neo Masisi, Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, Mr Vincent Seretse, Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Mr Tshekedi

Khama and chairperson of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi, Kgosi Puso, Senior Private Secretary to the President, Mr Bezark Maphakwane and other senior government officials.

Source : BOPA

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