South Africa lauds Turkish president’s efforts in Russia-Ukraine peace settlement

South Africa lauds Turkish president’s efforts in Russia-Ukraine peace settlement

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was hosted Tuesday by South African counterpart in capital Pretoria

By Hassan Isilow

JOHANNESBURG (AA) - South Africa affirmed its support Tuesday for efforts undertaken by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to encourage a peaceful settlement between Russia and Ukraine.

“South Africa if it can and the rest of the continent would want to play a role in such a process, but we really thank his Excellency President Erdogan for the leadership he has shown in seeking to end conflict in that region,” Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, said during a joint briefing with her Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in the capital Pretoria.

Pandor hosted Cavusoglu for a bilateral political consultation Tuesday where they discussed several issues.

In an earlier statement, Pandor conveyed President Cyril Ramaphosa and the government’s sincerest congratulations and best wishes to President Erdogan and the Turkish people for celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic.

“Please also allow me to express my deepest condolences on behalf of the South African government to the government and people of the Republic of Türkiye on the tragic loss of life as a result of the explosion which occurred in Istanbul on 13 November 2022,” she said.

Pandor also said her country remained steadfast in condemning all forms of violence and wished to extend its sympathy to those that were directly affected by this tragedy.

South Africa’s top diplomat further said that she is encouraged by the two countries’ mutual recognition of the importance of the values of peace and stability, democracy, the rule of law and the centrality of multilateralism in sustainable development.

“I see this as the beginning of an even greater partnership between Türkiye and South Africa,” Pandor said at the joint briefing.

-MOU signed

Cavusoglu said they held discussions on bilateral and international issues, including the importance of fighting the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which he said is a threat to every country, not only Türkiye or South Africa.

“We are also glad to announce that an MOU (memorandum of understanding) on scientific and technological cooperation has been signed between our relevant authorities,” he said.

The top diplomat said that granting additional flight frequencies for Turkish Airlines from Johannesburg to Cape Town will increase trade and tourism.

He said they also discussed consular issues, including visas and work permits, adding that they will hold consular meetings in Ankara possibly this year.

“We also exchanged views on global and regional affairs. Türkiye’s approach to Africa is built on equal partnership, mutual respect and a win-win strategy,” he said.

They also discussed developments in Ukraine and Ethiopia.

“We welcome the agreement between the government of Ethiopia and the TPLF,” Cavusoglu said, referring to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

He appreciated the role that South Africa is assuming in negotiating peace on the continent. Cavusoglu said that on the Ukraine issue, Türkiye and the UN continue to do their best to ensure the smooth operation of the Istanbul grain deal.

He also said they share the same view for a need to end hostilities and to start meaningful negotiations for a just peace.

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