Gaborone — Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic president, Mr Brahim Ghali departed on June 2 morning ending his three day official visit to Botswana.
Mr Ghali made a quick stopover at the Boteti Mining sorting facility in Gaborone where he was taken through the sorting and sales processes before jetting off to South Africa on a working visit.
According to a joint communiqué signed by international affairs and cooperation acting minister, Mr Machana Shamukuni and his counterpart, Mr Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, President Mokgweetsi Masisi and Mr Ghali had substantive and fruitful discussions on issues of mutual interest and concern at bilateral, regional and international levels, including the peace process in the Saharawi Republic.
"They expressed satisfaction at the bonds of friendship, solidarity and cordial relations that exist between their two countries.
They also expressed their commitment to closely work together with a view to further enhance these relations." The communiqué also says the two leaders agreed to establish formal diplomatic relations between their countries to facilitate continued close engagement and further strengthen the bonds of friendship and solidarity as well as lay the ground for fruitful cooperation on the economic, social and cultural front for the mutual benefit of their peoples. It says President Masisi expressed regret that the Saharawi Republic remains the only major territory still on the United Nations list of non-decolonised territories.
Further, it says President Masisi has also lamented that the people of Western Sahara have endured long years of suffering, turmoil and oppression, adding like the rest of the African people, they also deserve their right to self-determination, freedom and independence.
In this connection, it says President Masisi has reassured President Ghali of Botswana's continued unwavering support to the Saharawi people in their quest for self-determination and independence.
On the other hand, it says President Ghali has also expressed gratitude to President Masisi, his government and people of Botswana for the continued and principled support they have consistently rendered to the Saharawi Republic in her legitimate struggle for freedom, independence and self-determination.
President Ghali also welcomed the decision of the SADC Heads of State and Government to hold a solidarity conference, to mobilise international solidarity and support for the plight of the Saharawi Republic, as the last colony on the African continent.
The two leaders further expressed their full support and confidence in the efforts undertaken by the United Nations secretary general's Envoy for Western Sahara, Prof. Horst Kohler to forge a long lasting solution in the conflict between the Kingdom of Morocco and Western Sahara, as well as mobilise the international community to support implementation of all United Nations Resolutions on Western Sahara so that the Saharawi people can also enjoy their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.
To that end, the two Presidents emphasised that with her admission into the African Union, Morocco has an obligation to adhere to the principles and goals enshrined in the African Union Constitutive Act, especially the need to respect borders as they existed at the time of independence. During his visit, President Ghali had the opportunity to meet with the Vice President, Mr Slumber Tsogwane as well as the Speaker of the National Assembly Ms Gladys Kokorwe.
In addition, President Ghali and his delegation visited and toured the Karowe Mine to appreciate Botswana's experience in the diamond mining industry. Mr Ghali was on his first official visit to Botswana.
Source : BOPA