On December 7, 2018, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, Andrei Dapkiunas, held a meeting with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of South Africa to the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus (non-resident) Nomasonto Maria Sibanda-Thusi.
During the meeting the state of friendly relations between Belarus and South Africa as well as the ways of their gradual development were discussed.
Background: Ambassador of South Africa N.M. Sibanda-Thusi has repeatedly visited Belarus, she is one of the most active non-resident African ambassadors accredited in Belarus.
The interlocutors noted with satisfaction that in the first 10 months of 2018 the trade turnover between the two countries increased by two thirds. This was largely facilitated by the meeting of the Belarus-South African Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC), which was held in Pretoria in March 2018. In this regard, the Deputy Minister and the Ambassador discussed preparations for the next meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee, which is scheduled for early 2019 in Minsk.
A.Dapkiunas and N.M. Sibanda-Thusi noted the importance of actively promoting direct contacts between the business circles of both countries and examined possible forms of such assistance through the use of mechanisms of “The Belarus-Africa cooperation forum”, as well as thematic industrial and agricultural exhibitions.
During the conversation the Belarusian and South African diplomats raised issues of expanding cooperation in the field of education, creating favourable conditions for tourism and human exchanges, as well as for developing interregional ties between Free State and Mpumalanga provinces of South Africa and Minsk and Mogilev regions. A separate point of the conversation was the discussion of the possibility to accelerate the joint work on the practical promotion of contacts between citizens of both countries through the mutual abolition of visas for ordinary passport holders.
The interlocutors confirmed the intention of Belarus and South Africa to further strengthen cooperation and friendly interaction in international organizations on the principles of mutual respect and support.