South Africa: Statement on the Memorandum by Embassies of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland

The February 3, 2019 Sunday Times front page.
3 February 2019
Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Pretoria)
press release

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) notes with disappointment the dispatching of a Memorandum to the Office of The Presidency by the Embassies of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. This is a departure from established diplomatic practice.

In terms of acceptable diplomatic practice, protocol and convention, diplomatic missions are expected to communicate to the receiving state by means of a note verbal (diplomatic note) conveyed through the Department of International Relations and Cooperation. All embassies, regional and international organizations accredited to South Africa are aware of this protocol and universal norm. South African diplomatic missions abroad consistently observe this protocol by directing official communication to the respective foreign ministries in the countries of accreditation.

The South African government is intensifying its efforts to deepen and expand economic relations with a number of countries around the world, and is pleased with the enthusiastic response its efforts have yielded thus far. All matters that have been raised by investors are being addressed by the respective clusters of our government. We are satisfied that all the branches of our democratic state, including state agencies, are vigorously pursuing their respective mandates to address our current challenges.

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms. Lindiwe SISULU has instructed the Department to demarche the concerned Ambassadors with a view to discussing substantive matters contained in their correspondence, and to reiterate acceptable protocol in addressing such matters.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation would like to remind all diplomatic missions accredited to South Africa to address official correspondence through the appropriate diplomatic channels.

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