President Jacob Zuma held bilateral talks with his counterpart President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on the margins of the G20 Leaders Summit taking place in Antalya, Turkey, and the two leaders agreed to structure the relations between the two countries at a Binational Commission level, to be chaired by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on the South African side and his counterpart on the Turkish side.
The two leaders agreed to elevate relations and to take further the already strong economic, social and political relations, and especially to advance trade and people and people cooperation.
President Zuma conveyed his condolences on behalf of South Africa on the loss of life following the two bomb explosions that took place in Ankara on 10 October 2015.
The two leaders condemned the Paris terror attacks. He further welcomed the fact that terrorism would be discussed at the G20 Summit as the matter required the attention of all leaders globally.
President Zuma congratulated President Erdogan on the success of the Turkish Presidency of the G20 which ensured that under Turkish leadership, development was located at the centre of the G20 work. The G20 Development Working Group successfully established stronger links with other workstreams which ensured the prominence of the development agenda throughout the G20 agenda.
The G20 focus on developmental issues such as the promotion of small and medium entreprises, strengthening women’s participation in the labour force as well as addressing youth unemployment were strongly applauded by President Zuma.
President Zuma welcomed the fact that the G20 has put Africa’s development on the agenda with the focus on energy, with Turkey hosting the first ever G20 energy Ministers meeting this year, which among other things, focused on inclusive energy collaboration on the basis of the G20 energy principles agreed to at the last G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia.
“We think that Turkey has set a good foundation for this new trajectory for the G20 which, if handled correctly, will contribute to a better world,” said President Zuma.