South Africa: President Ramaphosa Concludes Eswatini Working Visit

President Cyril Ramaphosa has returned from a working visit to the Kingdom of eSwatini where he held talks with King Mswati III on a range of bilateral issues.

In a statement, the Presidency said President Ramaphosa's visit formed part of a series of courtesy calls on heads of state and government in the Southern African Development Community following his election as President in February 2018.

President Ramaphosa has paid similar visits to Angola, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Mozambique.

"During his visit to the Hlane Royal Residence, President Ramaphosa and His Majesty King Mswati reviewed bilateral cooperation between the two countries in discussions that reflected the warmth of relations between the two leaders and the governments and people of the neighbouring states," the Presidency said in a statement.

"In this regard they noted with appreciation the ongoing cooperation in many sectors including trade and investment, security, health and education."

The Presidency said the two leaders directed the ministers of international relations and cooperation in the two countries to convene the Joint Bilateral Commission on Cooperation (JBCC) to oversee the implementation of signed agreements between South Africa and eSwatini.

"They further directed that ministers should ensure that the issue of congestion at border posts and other outstanding issues are attended to.

"President Ramaphosa and His Majesty King Mswati III also exchanged views on current developments in the SADC region. They also congratulated Nigeria and Senegal for conducting peaceful elections," read the statement.

During the working visit, King Mswati III wished South Africa well for forthcoming provincial and national elections.

"Following the deliberations of the two heads of state, King Mswati III invited President Ramaphosa to the conclusion of the annual Buganu Festival which celebrates the harvest of the first marula fruit of the season. This event was also attended by Her Majesty the Queen Mother," the Presidency said.

Addressing regiments of Lutsango dancers from different parts of eSwatini at the close of the Buganu Festival, King Mswati warmly welcomed the visit by President Ramaphosa and expressed the wish that the two states would engage more frequently to "exchange ideas for the betterment of our peoples" and the "furtherance of relations as friendly neighbours".

In his response President Ramaphosa expressed his appreciation for eSwatini's hosting of the Working Visit and commended the Kingdom on its celebration of eSwatini culture.

President Ramaphosa also expressed appreciation for the solidarity shown by the people of eSwatini to South Africans during the struggle against apartheid.

The President said: "Now is the time for economic development. Our two countries are focusing on growing our economies and creating jobs for young people."

President Ramaphosa said the talks had identified a broad range of opportunities for bilateral cooperation in sectors such as tourism, information and communications technology, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and agriculture.

The President expressed the wish that future cooperation be facilitated at the level of a bi-national commission.

President Ramaphosa was accompanied by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu and Minister of State Security Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba.

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