DRC leaders must keep peace – Zuma

2011-12-14 08:23

President Jacob Zuma has called on political leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to keep peace in their country, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said yesterday.

She was speaking in Maputo at the conclusion of talks between Zuma and his Mozambican counterpart President Armando Guebuza.

Mashabane said the two heads of state discussed the presidential and legislative elections in the DRC.

“The two presidents have congratulated the declared winner of the presidential election, His Excellency President Joseph Kabila Kabanga.

At the same time, the presidents have urged political leaders in that country to act responsibly and refrain from making statements that would lead to violence.”

Mashabane said an agreement confirming that a binational commission would be established was signed during the visit.

Other agreements signed dealt with hosting regular diplomatic consultations, forestry-based industries, arts and culture cooperation and the coordination of frequency bands.

A memorandum of understanding on communications, as well as one, along with Tanzania, on maritime security co-operation, were also processed.

She said the countries had now signed over 60 bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding.

“South Africa has emerged in recent years as the main trading partner for Mozambique and its main source of foreign direct investment.”

She said Mozambique was one of South Africa’s top five trading partners in Africa. About 80 businesspeople travelled with Zuma to Mozambique this week. A business forum between the two countries would be held today.

Both presidents vowed to increase efforts by their ministries to deal with cross-border crime, maritime piracy, poaching and human trafficking.

Earlier, Zuma paid tribute to the acacia trees that line the streets of Mozambique’s capital when he accepted the Freedom of the City of Maputo.

“It is this tree of Maputo that provided shade and shelter to many liberation fighters who sought refuge from its bosoms,” he said, according to a statement issued by the presidency.

Mozambique hosted South African exiles, Zuma included, during the struggle against apartheid.

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