Germany lauds SA's role in Africa

2013-04-29 16:28
Guido Westerwelle (Picture: GCIS/AFP)

Guido Westerwelle (Picture: GCIS/AFP)

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Pretoria - Germany's Foreign Affairs Minister Guido Westerwelle lauded South Africa on Monday for its interventions in strife-torn countries on the African continent.

"We welcome your commitment to African and regional integration," he told reporters after talks with his South African counterpart Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in Pretoria.

"We value highly South Africa’s commitment to peace and security in Africa, for instance the mediation efforts by former president Thabo Mbeki in Sudan.

"We pay tribute to your peace-keeping efforts."

Westerwelle said African countries should play the leading role in conflict resolution in the continent.

"I can only welcome the compass of my colleague Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, African solutions for African problems. Germany, the European Union and the international community may be supportive.

"We are ready to support, but the African countries sit on the driving seat."

Westerwelle expressed "deep sympathy" following the deaths of 13 South African soldiers during a foreign mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) last month.

On future interventions on the continent, Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa would always get involved when the need arose and be guided by the Constitution.

"We are Africans and we are guided by our foreign policy which believes that we can only be a better South Africa in a continent that is secure, democratic and respects international law," she said.

"When called upon to intervene in situations of strife we will never say 'no' because South Africa would not have had 1994 if Africa had thought what was happening here was a South African problem. We had unequivocal support of all African nations."

South Africa would send troops to the CAR again, if asked.

"We are Africans and we will not look away, but will follow the prescripts of the rule of law if we’re invited by the region, the AU and the United Nations."

President Jacob Zuma hosted a CAR delegation, led by Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye, on Sunday.

Tiangaye said his trip sought to cement bilateral relations between South Africa and his country.

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