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Botswana, South Africa ties run deep
10/09/12
Botswana, South Africa ties run deep

GABORONE - President Jacob Zuma of South Africa has described Botswana as home away from home.

 

Speaking at the start of his two-day state visit yesterday, Mr Zuma expressed gratitude for the typical Botswana hospitality extended to him and his delegation.

 

He said he was humbled by President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khamas invitation, adding that the countries relationship runs deeper than generally perceived.

 

The delegation that I have brought with me also shows how much I value our relationship, he added.

 

Welcoming his guest at the Office of the President, President Khama said the visit signifies the bondage that exists between the two countries.

 

He stated that he and President Zuma will meet on a regular basis to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

 

President Khama introduced Vice President, Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe to the visiting delegation.

 

Meanwhile, Botswana and South Africa have signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MoU).

 

These include agreements on the establishment of a bi-national commission to plan and implement bilateral programmes of cooperation in order to enhance and promote the development of the two countries.

 

Another is on the promotion and facilitation of cooperation between the two countries in the fields of economics, scientific, technical, cultural, defence and security.

 

These were signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Phandu Skelemani and SAs Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

 

Dr Kedikilwe and South Africas energy minister, Ms Ms Dipuo Peters signed one binding the two countries to cooperate in the field of energy.

 

This will be done through exchange of informationon on the countries respective programmes on coal commercialisation, distribution and marketing of coal derivatives, among others.

 

The MoU on the regional environment and social assessment of coal-based energy projects along Botswana and South Africa border was signed by the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Mr Kitso Mokaila and SAs Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa.

 

In this, the parties agreed to focus on issues that could have significant impact on decision making and proposed coal-based investments and projects in the Botswana-South Africa border area.

 

The impacts contemplated in this area will include cross border impacts, large-scale cumulative impacts and the possibility of emergency, accidental and natural disaster occurrences.

 

President Zuma and his entourage left for Kasane yesterday and will return to South Africa today. BOPA  

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