Brussels 31.01.2023 The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell has concluded his visit to Southern Africa.
In South Africa Borrell co-chaired, together with the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, Dr Naledi Pandor, the 15th session of the Ministerial Political Dialogue. The meeting was also attended by Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, and Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, Mairead McGuinness. The discussions focused on political and security cooperation on the continent, multilateral cooperation, trade and economic relations, energy and health.
Josep Borrell underlined the fact that despite the unprecedented level of global instability, the strategic partnership between South Africa and the European Union has been moving along through a positive trajectory.
Recognising the importance that South Africa plays regionally and internationally, the EU diplomat highlighted the country’s potential to contribute to build peace and security on the African continent and to help stopping Russia’s illegal aggression against Ukraine. The High Representative also emphasised the need for the European Union and South Africa to continue working together at the multilateral level to uphold and even reinvigorate the rules-based international order.
The opening speech by the High Representative at the Ministerial meeting as well as the remarks at the joint press conference with Minister Pandor:
As part of the EU’s support to South Africa in implementing the country’s vision to shift to a greener and cleaner energy, a Just and Green Recovery Team Europe Initiative for South Africa was launched in the margins of the Ministerial meeting.
Political consultations between Minister Pandor and Hight Representative Borrell focused on the situations in the Sahel, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Lesotho.
In Botswana Borrell met with Foreign Minister Lemogang Kwape. As like-minded partners on many files at multilateral level, driven by similar values and linked economically, they discussed how the EU could support Botswana in terms of economic diversification, energy transition and digitalization.
They also talked about the Russian aggression against Ukraine and its global implications as well as about regional crises. The EU diplomat took the opportunity to congratulate Botswana for securing the location of the future Kimberley Process secretariat in Gaborone.
The EU diplomat also met with SADC Executive Secretary Elias Magosi and discussed how to further strengthen EU-SADC cooperation, in preparation of the SADC – EU ministerial meeting scheduled to take place later in 2023.
During his mission in Botswana Borrell visited the Tlokweng border weigh station of the EU-funded Tripartite Transport and Facilitation Programme, a practical example of successful regional integration, reducing the costs of road transport and driving economic growth. He also visited a diamond-cutting factory in Gaborone.
He concluded his mission to Southern Africa by visiting the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg.