South Africa, Spain to cement relations

2 July 2012

South Africa and Spain are to advance bilateral political and economic relations when the two countries meet for their eighth annual consultations this week.

International Relations Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim will lead the South African delegation during the talks, which will be held in Madrid on Monday and Tuesday.

The visit takes place within the context of enhancing North-South Dialogue.

“The visit will afford South Africa an opportunity to further strengthen bilateral relations with Spain in support of South Africa’s national priorities and foreign policy objectives by promoting high-level consultations to discuss bilateral, regional, multilateral and other international issues of mutual concern,” the Department of International Relations said in a statement on Friday.

The South Africa-Spain Annual Consultations serve as the main forum for co-ordinating relations between the two countries and it was established in terms of a memorandum of understanding signed in December 2000.

The two countries enjoy cordial relations as Spain places a high priority on its relations with the African continent, as seen by its 2009-2012 “Africa Plan”.

The plan pledges support for the Sub-Saharan African development agenda, highlighting the need to harmonise, co-ordinate and develop both bilateral and multilateral initiatives, including the African Union.

The two countries are committed to multilateralism, with Spain having supported South Africa’s bid to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2011-2012.

South Africa and Spain also share a common belief that United Nations governance should be restructured, particularly the Security Council and global financial architecture.