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First Session of Diplomatic Consultations between Uganda and South Africa

Tuesday, 11th March 2014
Chief Director Ms. Tselane Mokuena (Lt) and Amb. James Mugume (Rt) at the opening Session of the Regular Diplomatic Consultations
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. James Mugume, has received Ms. Tselane Mokuena, Chief Director, Department of Foreign Affairs, South Africa, who led a delegation from Pretoria to Uganda.  In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Amb. James Mugume said that the first Regular Diplomatic consultation would have been held six months after the inaugural session of the Joint Cooperation Commission (JCC) between the two countries which was held in Pretoria, South Africa on 17th November 2012 but it had not been possible due to a number of factors which caused postponement on a number of occasions.  He noted that the holding of regular consultations is one way of enhancing coordination and strengthening the relations between the two brotherly countries of Uganda and South Africa.  He therefore said that it was necessary for the two countries to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on regular diplomatic consultations at the next session when they meet. 
Amb. Mugume emphasized the need to hold regular consultations on schedule so as to enable the Ministries steer the recommendation process of agreed bilateral activities and to be able to respond to the various regional and international developments and challenges. Amb. Mugume was happy that the Ugandan Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities had been invited by their South African Counterpart to attend the Tourism Indaba and Tourism Ministerial Meeting in Durban in May 2014. 

Ms. Tselane Mokuena, thanked Uganda for arranging the meeting and said that the meeting will provide the opportunity to further deepen the strong bonds of friendship through in-depth discussions on issues of mutual concern and strategic importance to both countries. She also hoped they will identify areas for further progress and said that South Africa will be interested in learning some of the East African experiences.

The Chief Director, Ms. Tselane Mokuena was glad that there had been some good developments since the inaugural session of the Uganda/South African Joint Commission cooperation in November 2012 and noted, for example, that 40 South African Companies had already invested in Uganda. She also noted that in 2013 Uganda had exported goods worth R51 million while South Africa had exported to Uganda goods worth R1.8 billion.  She observed that this unbalanced trade against Uganda should be addressed so that Uganda increases her exports to South Africa. 

She noted that the political ties between Uganda and South Africa had \r\ndeveloped over many years from the time of South Africa's struggle for \r\nfreedom during the dark days of apartheid and this relationship had \r\nmatured in the last twenty years as illustrated in the existing close \r\ncooperation and coordination on positions on a number of regional and \r\nmultilateral issues.

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