South Africa-SADR: Satisfaction with level of cooperation and friendship

Shahid El-Hafed, 15 November 2021 (SPS) - The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and the Republic of South Africa expressed on Sunday their satisfaction with the level of cooperation, solidarity and friendship between the two countries.

In a joint statement sanctioning the visit of the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Naledi Pandor, to the Sahrawi Republic on Sunday, both sides expressed their satisfaction with the level of cooperation, solidarity and friendship between the two countries, based on historical and friendship ties.

The President of the SADR, Secretary General of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, entrusted the South African minister with a message of gratitude and thanks to President Cyril Ramaphosa, as well as to the people and government of South Africa, for "their crucial role in consecrating Africa's unity and complementarity and in recovering its rightful place in international fora".

South Africa's chief diplomat, Naledi Pandor, reviewed with her Sahrawi counterpart, Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, issues of common interest at the bilateral, continental and international levels, expressing satisfaction with the level of cooperation, solidarity and friendship, based on historical and friendship ties between the two countries.

According to the statement, Ms. Naledi Pandor called on the SADR and Morocco, as two member countries of the African Union (AU), to overcome the current political impasse, create the conditions for a return to the ceasefire and achieve a just and lasting settlement of the conflict, which should lead to the self-determination of the Saharawi people, in accordance with the resolutions of the AU and the United Nations and in conformity with the Constitutive Act of the AU, as set out by the 14th Extraordinary Session of the AU.

After reiterating, in the joint statement, South Africa's continued support for the "inalienable" right of the Saharawi people to self-determination, Ms. Pandor expressed her "concern about reports of a deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied Saharawi territories". She reiterated South Africa's call to "include the issue of human rights monitoring among the prerogatives of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO)".

According to the same document, the two ministers emphasised "the joint responsibility of the AU and the UN as guarantors of the 1991 settlement plan, which paved the way for a peaceful solution after 16 years of war between the two parties (editor's note: Morocco-SADR)", before underlining that the UN-AU settlement plan remains the only legitimate and applicable framework to put an end to the long-standing colonisation of Western Sahara, which is the last colony in Africa.

The Sahrawi Government and people express, through this statement, "their gratitude to the South African government for its continuous and principled support and solidarity, and for its defence of the Sahrawi people's right to independence and freedom in continental and international fora.

The two sides also agreed on "the need to strengthen their bilateral relations, based on the deep historical ties of friendship and solidarity between them, and reinforced by their struggle against apartheid and colonialism".

They also stressed their "willingness to continue and deepen the coordination of their foreign policy at regional and international level, and to hold regular consultations".

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