Tourism Deputy Minister Fish Mahlalela says South Africa will continue to strengthen the bond of friendship with the Central African Republic (CAR).
Mahlalela has on behalf of the South African government congratulated the government and political parties in the Central African Republic for reaching the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation that was signed in Bangui on 6 February 2019.
Speaking at the 59th celebration of the National Day of Central African Republic, Mahlalela said South Africa and the Central African Republic enjoy strong diplomatic relations which date back to 1993.
"It is our hope and wish that, on your 59th anniversary of independence, the people of the Central African Republic enjoy peace, development and economic prosperity.
"It is our belief that without peace and security there cannot be development, and our two countries share a common vision of a peaceful and prosperous Africa," the deputy minister said.
Mahlalela congratulated the government and the people of the Central African Republic for choosing the path of peace and reconciliation, despite many challenges.
The warm and cordial relations between the two countries were solidified when President Faustin-Archange Touadera undertook a working visit to South Africa.
During his visit, discussions between former president Jacob Zuma and President Touadera laid firm foundation for cooperation in a number of areas and in particular, South Africa agreeing to assist in the areas of developing peace and security and strengthening economic cooperation.
Subsequent to President Toudera's visit, significant progress has been made in bilateral relations, including the opening of the South African Embassy in Bangui in June 2017.