South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo have met to strengthen existing relations between the two countries at the 8th Session of the Bi-National Commission.
The meeting involved the Heads of State of both countries, and took place on Tuesday. It was preceded by a ministerial meeting the day before and a senior officials’ meeting at the weekend.
A the meeting, both Presidents reviewed a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues. They expressed great satisfaction at the warm and special relations that exist between the two countries and committed themselves to further enhance these relations for the mutual benefit of their respective countries and peoples.
The two countries cooperate in several projects covering various fields, including security sector reform, infrastructure development, capacity and institutional building, humanitarian and social matters.
Both President Zuma and President Kabila reiterated their commitment to strengthen economic relations by enhancing cooperation between the business communities of the two countries and by increasing bilateral trade and investment.
They also witnessed the signing of a co-operation agreement between PetroSA and Cohydro. This important agreement will establish a strategic cooperation in the activities of pre-exploration, exploration, development and production of hydrocarbons for the benefit of the two countries.
The agreement adds to the already wide legal instruments within which cooperation between the two countries takes place.
In this regard, South Africa’s Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) was regarded as an important platform to achieve this goal. In the same vein, both countries agreed to encourage people-to-people contacts through cultural, scientific and educational exchange programmes and tourism.
The two Presidents also took the opportunity to reflect extensively on the ongoing security instability in the eastern part of the DRC.
In this regard, the two condemned in the strongest possible terms those forces that are involved in destabilising a sovereign state and called on them to cease these activities immediately.