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Thursday, October 6, 2022

President Cyril Ramaphosa receives courtesy call by US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken

Cape Town – South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa received a courtesy call from the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken this morning in Pretoria, the presidency confirmed.

Secretary Blinken is on a working visit to South Africa where he co-chaired the Bilateral Strategic Dialogue Mechanism with Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor on Monday, 08 August 2022.

In 2021, US President Biden, met with President Cyril Ramaphosa on the margins of the G7 Summit.

They discussed the U.S.-South Africa bilateral relationship and underscored the need to expand global Covid-19 vaccine supply and to cooperate on climate goals in Africa and on other bilateral and regional issues.

Speaking at the opening of the the South Africa – US Strategic Dialogue on Monday, 8 August 2022, Pretoria, Pandor said she was pleased to welcome Blinken and his delegation to our beautiful country and to the Department of International Relations and Co-operation.

Pandor said the US was one of South Africa’s most valued partners.

“I appreciate the commitment you have shown to expanding our bilateral relations.“

Pandor added that the bonds that were forged between the US and South Africa during the struggle for democracy and racial justice in South Africa, created a firm foundation for advancing people-to-people co-operation between the two countries, including in the spheres of education, cultural and tourism exchanges.

“We have established many positive initiatives since 1994.”

Pandor said South Africa and the US’s areas of co-operation include trade and investment, technology transfer, education, health, environment, safety and security, institution-building and many other areas.

South Africa continues to be confronted by deep challenges linked to our apartheid history, Pandor added.

They centre on three elements: inequality, poverty and unemployment. These are challenges we must address to avoid social strife.

“Through the generous support of the USA government and people, we have been able to make progress in addressing many of the socio-economic challenges faced by the majority in this country, be it in providing access to equal and quality education, decent housing or basic healthcare services to the most vulnerable in society.”

Dirco said that bilateral cooperation is broad and deep and aligned to South Africa’s national priorities.

“We are determined and working hard, however, to set our economy on a new trajectory of growth and development to satisfy the yearning of our people for a better life.”

Pandor touched on the scientific co-operation at the SKA site in Carnarvon in the Northern Cape, where the USA has an important astronomy research initiative.

“What stands out in particular in our journey was the timely and significant support given to South Africa and the region to address the original pandemic of HIV/Aids through the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).”

“This was indeed a game changer as it set the pace for the way we bilaterally, as government and civil society, came together to turn around the devastating impact of the HIV/Aids scourge which threatened to derail our progress and set us back.

“Co-operation in HIV vaccine development stands out as our most significant medical sciences research initiative with Professors Glenda Gray and Olive Shisana achieving outstanding results.”

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