South Africa and Togo have agreed to strengthen ties, they said in a joint communique issued on Friday.
Read the full communique below as received by TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington DC.
1. At the invitation of His Excellency, Mr. Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Togolese Republic, President Cyril Matamela RAMAPHOSA paid a Working Visit to Togo on 5 and 6 December 2019 as part of continuing engagements aimed at strengthening and deepening cooperation between South Africa and Togo.
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2. President RAMAPHOSA was accompanied by a high level delegation comprising State Ministers and Senior Government Officials.
3. The two Heads of State reviewed a wide range of bilateral, continental and global issues of common interest. They acknowledged the historical and strategic relations that exist between the two countries, and the need to further strengthen the ties of friendship and cooperation.
4. The two Presidents noted with satisfaction the continued exchange of high level visits and meetings between the two countries. In this regard, they recalled the successful Working Visit of President GNASSINGBE to South Africa in March 2019 when he also met with a number of South African businesses.
5. Both Leaders appreciated the expanding nature of the two countries bilateral cooperation which covers amongst others: Trade, Transport, Defence, Security, Agriculture, Mining, as well as other issues of common interest. ln this regard the two Presidents took note of the newly signed Agreement on a Framework of Cooperation.
6. They also noted with appreciation the growing economic cooperation between the two Republics and welcomed the new direct route of ASKY Airline which flies between Johannesburg and Lomé, the involvement of South Africa in the Lomé based Ecobank, and the growing bilateral cooperation as demonstrated by the signing of the Agreement on a Framework of Cooperation.
7. During the discussions between both parties, the Togo delegation presented to the South African delegation projects related to the National Development Plan. In this regard, the Presidents agreed to encourage business people from South Africa and Togo to explore business opportunities for possible trade investment and tourism in the two countries.
8. President RAMAPHOSA congratulated President GNASSINGBE for this ambitious National Development Plan and for substantial progress Togo has made in promoting reform, business and the successful hosting of the first Togo-European Union Economic Forum.
9. At the Continental level, the two Presidents exchanged views on the current political, economic and security situation in their respective regions. They also expressed their grave concern on the ongoing instability in some of the countries on the Continent and strongly condemned the continued terrorist and extremist activities.
10. In this regard, both Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further coordinate their actions in the context of regional and international bodies to promote peace and stability in Africa.
11. President GNASSINGBE took the opportunity to express his appreciation to President RAMAPHOSA for the efforts South Africa is making within the United Nations Security Council, and the expected role that South Africa will play during its forthcoming chairship of the African Union.
12. Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to working together in pursuit of sustainable economic development on the continent within the framework of AU Agenda 2063 and the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).
13. President RAMAPHOSA expressed his appreciation for the opportunity provided by President GNASSINGBE in visiting the Autonomous Port of Lomé as a strategic logistical hub for the region, and the Training Center for Peacekeeping Operations as a significant Center for capacity building for Peacekeeping Missions.
14. President RAMAPHOSA also expressed gratitude for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation. He also took the opportunity to invite President GNASSINGBE to pay a reciprocal visit to the Republic of South Africa on a date to be jointly agreed and communicated through diplomatic channels.