Gaborone — Botswana has rejected its rival's proposal to withdraw from the SADC executive secretary position race, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has revealed.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Botswana have both fielded candidates for the position which becomes vacant August.
Briefing the media yesterday, President Masisi said DRC delegation led by prime minister Mr Jean-Michel Kyenge made the proposal during a meeting with him on Wednesday.
President Masisi said the two countries could not reach a common consensus to field one candidate.
He reiterated the country's intention to vigorously rally behind its candidate, Mr Elias Magosi, and its determination to come out victorious against the DRC opponent come election time.
The President said Botswana had decided to field a high profile candidate to denote the country's profound commitment to the values and principles for which SADC was established.
To further illustrate Botswana's eagerness to lead the SADC secretariat, President Masisi said he had taken it upon himself to lead the campaign and seek support from regional counterparts for the country's candidacy.
He however stated that contention for the SADC post by the two countries would not have any negative impact on Botswana and DRC bilateral relations.
DRC would remain Botswana's important ally and strategic partner despite the outcome of the SADC secretariat election, he said.
The two countries, Dr Masisi said, enjoyed decades of cordial bilateral relations and were keen to extend their cooperation to other developmental sectors such as agriculture, mining, tourism and trade.
He said the Inter-Congolese Dialogue, which was led by late President Sir Ketumile Masire, was a clear testimony of the good relations the two countries enjoyed.
The two countries would remain steadfast in nurturing their bilateral relations and would continue working together towards the realisation of an integrated and developed region even beyond the SADC secretariat elections, stated the President.
Source : BOPA