Pretoria (South Africa), August 25 : Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen joined the official bilateral meeting with the Foreign Minister of South Africa, Dr. Naledi M. Pandor on 24 August, 2021 at her office in Pretoria. Minister Pandor welcomed the Bangladesh delegation to Pretoria. The Bangladesh delegation comprised Foreign Ministry officials and the High Commissioner of Bangladesh to South Africa and High Commission officials. The South African delegation comprised the Advisor to the Foreign Minister, Deputy Director General of Asia Department, Director of South and Central Asia, Director (IORA) and Deputy Director of South Asia Department and others. The two Foreign Ministers had a tete-e-tete before the commencement of the official bilateral meeting.
South African Foreign Minister felicitated the celebration of the birth Centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as well as the Golden Jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh. Ms. Pandor praised the remarkable socio-economic development of Bangladesh under the able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. She mentioned that South Africa and Bangladesh are working closely in bilateral and multilateral platforms and South Africa highly values the bonds of cooperation that exist between Bangladesh and South Africa. She referred to the historic visit of H.E. Mr. Nelson Mandela in Bangladesh in 1997 during the celebration of the Silver Jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh. She expressed satisfaction that the two countries have already signed some important Agreements and a good number of Agreements are under discussion now. She underlined the importance of organization of regular Senior Official meetings between the two countries.
The South African Foreign Minister mentioned that both countries have a lot of potential for cooperation in trade, investments and technical exchanges. She hailed the success of Bangladesh in women empowerment and social safety net areas. She also lauded the success of Bangladesh in poverty eradication, food security and micro entrepreneurship areas. Ms. Pandor also praised the outstanding role of Bangladesh Peace Keepers in the UN Missions, including that in Africa.
Foreign Minister of Bangladesh requested the South African side to consider opening a resident Mission of South Africa in Dhaka. Ms. Pandor assured that the South African government may initially establish a diplomatic representation of South Africa in Bangladesh.
Foreign Minister Momen proposed to the South African Foreign Minister for establishment of a Centre on agricultural cooperation between Bangladesh and South Africa, which may be named as Bangabandhu-Mandela Centre on Agriculture Cooperation and be based in South Africa. The Foreign Minister suggested that both countries may continue cooperating in IORA, Blue Economy and Climate Change areas. The two Foreign Ministers also reflected upon the important regional issues.
During the bilateral meeting, both sides focused on the issues of mutual interest and Agreements under discussion. The Foreign Minister invited Ms. Naledi Pandor, the South African Foreign Minister to visit Bangladesh at her convenience.
At the end of the meeting, a Joint Communiqué was signed expressing the intention of both sides to further develop the bilateral relations including trade and economic cooperation.