SA, Spain to cement relations

SA, Spain to cement relations

Pretoria – South Africa and Spain are to advance bilateral, political and economic relations, among other things, when the two countries meet for their 8th annual consultations next week.

International Relations Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim will lead the South African delegation during the two-day talks to be held in Madrid. The visit takes place within the context of enhancing North-South Dialogue.

“The visit will afford South Africa an opportunity to further strengthen bilateral relations, with Spain in support of South Africa’s national priorities and foreign policy objectives by, inter alia, promoting high-level consultations to discuss bilateral, regional, multilateral and other international issues of mutual concern,” the Department of International Relations said on Friday.

The South Africa-Spain Annual Consultations serve as the main forum for coordinating bilateral relations between the two countries and it was established in terms of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in December 2000. It further provides the legal framework for bilateral consultations and cooperation.

The two countries enjoy cordial relations as Spain places a high priority on its relations with the African continent, as evidenced by its 2009–2012 “Africa Plan”.

The plan pledges support for the Sub-Saharan Africa Development Agenda, highlighting the need to harmonise, coordinate and develop complementarities with both bilateral and multilateral initiatives, including the African Union.

The two countries are deeply committed to multilateralism, with Spain having supported South Africa’s bid to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2011-2012.

Further to this, the two countries share a common belief that United Nations governance should be restructured, particularly the Security Council and global financial architecture. –