5 February 2018

Botswana: Visit to Strengthen Relations - Goitsemang

Gaborone — Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation, Mr Gaeimelwe Goitsemang says it is crucial for Botswana and Namibia to strengthen the already existing bilateral cooperation between them.

Speaking in an interview after President Khama's departure to Namibia on a two-day state visit on Monday, Mr Goitsemang said Botswana and Namibia were strategic partners in development, hence the purpose of the visit was to enhance, broaden, and manage the scope of the bilateral relations between Botswana and Namibia.

"As you may be aware, relations are managed and one way of managing and enhancing them is through high level exchanges," he said.

He also stated that the visit was a return visit because President Geingob visited Botswana in 2016.

Mr Goitsemang said during the visit, President Khama would engage with his counterpart, Dr Hage Geingob on how the two countries could foster bilateral cooperation in areas of trade, energy, tourism, and water as well as Trans Kalahari Corridor project.

"Botswana has a dry port facility if Walvis Bay, but the Trans Kalahari Corridor project is critical in contributing to trade links and broadening the scope of our export goods," he said.

He said they would also discuss issues that are of regional nature such as peace and security and how the two countries can work together to fast-track the regional integration agenda.

Mr Goitsemang said the two leaders would also hold discussions about topical issues in the continent generally on topics that cut across political, development and economic nature.

"They may also share issues of global nature. We live in a global world and whatever happens internationally may affect Botswana. So they may speak about how they may harmonise and advance their positions," he added.

He said the two would also reaffirm their boundaries and sign a treaty because the two countries had been working out mechanisms to ensure peaceful co-existence of border communities.

"The exercise has been finalised and the two leaders will now sign a boundary treaty for the two countries," he said.

President Khama is accompanied by Ministers of Defence, Justice and Security, Mr Shaw Kgathi, Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Mr Prince Maele, Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Mr Tshekedi Khama and Minister of Transport and Communications, Mr Kitso Mokaila.

The President and his entourage are expected back on Tuesday (February 6).

Source : BOPA

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