Maite Nkoana-Mashabane ends Iran visit

2014-06-17 05:45
International Relations Minsister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

International Relations Minsister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

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Johannesburg - International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane ended her two-day working visit to Tehran, Iran, on Monday, her department said.

"The minister's visit coincides with the 20th anniversary of South Africa's freedom and democracy and 20 years of diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran," said spokesperson Clayson Monyela in a statement.

Nkoana-Mashabane delivered a keynote address on Monday during a seminar called "20 years of South Africa's freedom and relations between South Africa and the Islamic Republic of Iran", said Monyela.

The seminar was hosted by the South African embassy, in conjunction with the Centre for International Studies and Research in Tehran.

"The year 2014 truly presents a momentous occasion for us as a unified nation to reflect on how freedom and democracy were achieved, the progress we have made thus far, and how we as South Africans are going to work together to implement Vision 2030," Nkoana-Mashabane said during her address.

Other speakers at the seminar included deputy president for women and family affairs Hossein Amir Abdolahian, and presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj, who addressed the seminar in his personal capacity.

Nkoana-Mashabane met Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and paid a courtesy call to Iran's President Hassan Rouhani.

"The two ministers recalled the successful 11th Joint Commission held in October last year and reiterated the need to strengthen co-operation in the fields of trade and investment, health, science, technology and education," said Monyela.

Nkoana-Mashabane said at the seminar that there was a South African business delegation in Tehran organised by the South African government.

"Their presence is a sign of growing bilateral economic relations between our two countries," she said.

Nkoana-Mashabane and Zarif discussed developments in their respective countries and regions.

"On the multilateral front, the two ministers discussed the need to strengthen South-South co-operation in the field of development, peace and security," said Monyela.

"In this regard, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane reiterated South Africa's support for President Rouhani's initiative that was tabled at the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, calling for a dialogue against violence and extremism," he said.

On Iran's nuclear programme, Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa welcomed the continued negotiations between the P5 (Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council) and Iran and hoped that the final outcome would be fair and would lead to the lifting of international sanctions, said Monyela.

- SAPA
Read more on:    maite nkoana-mashabane  |  iran  |  iran nuclear programme
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