South Africa: Dlamini Zuma Meets With Belarus President

South African Minister for Foreign Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is to meet with Belarus President Alexander Lukaschenko on Thursday to discuss bilateral political and economic matters.

The minister arrived for a four-day official visit to Belarus on Wednesday where she met with her counterpart, Minister Sergei Martynov for bilateral political and economic discussions.

During the discussions, Ms Dlamini Zuma indicated that a process is underway to open a South African Consul-General office in Belarus which will be under the supervision of the Moscow Embassy.

This would be aimed at strengthening economic ties between the two countries.

Minister Sergei Martynov welcomed the move and indicated the full support of the Belarusian government.

Both countries expressed confidence that the next SA - Belarus ITEC session scheduled for November 2008 in South Africa will be fruitful.

Minister Martynov also expressed gratitude to Minister Dlamini Zuma for including a small and medium-sized business delegation to accompany her to Belarus.

The move was aimed at exploring business opportunities in Belarus and undertook to encourage the business community in Belarus to open its doors to South African businesses.

Co-operation in the multilateral fora in the United Nations and in the Non Aligned Movement between Belarus and South Africa was also discussed.

Ms Dlamini Zuma left Tunis on Wednesday where she had co- chaired the 5th Session of the South Africa - Tunis Joint Bilateral Commission (JBC) with Tunisian Minister Abdelwaheb Abdallah.

During her visit she met with President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Among the key highlights of the discussions was the decision to embark on trilateral cooperation between South Africa, Tunisia and Mali on advanced training for Malian archivists tasked with the preservation of the Timbuktu manuscripts.

This is a project lead by South Africa President Thabo Mbeki.



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