Toast remarks by His Excellency President Zuma on the occasion of the State Visit by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
21 October 2011
Your Excellency, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo,
Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly,
Honourable Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Honourable Chief Justice of the Republic,
Honourable Ministers and deputy Ministers,
The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador Bene M’Poko,
Ambassadors, senior officials,
My wife and I are truly delighted and honoured to welcome you, Your Excellency and your esteemed delegation, on the occasion of your first State visit to South Africa.
I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to you for accepting my invitation to come to the Republic of South Africa.
I trust that you feel at home in our country, as I indeed felt in Equatorial Guinea in 2009.
I visited Malabo at your express invitation My Dear brother and friend, with the noble task of reinforcing the relations between our two countries.
Our country has subsequently been honoured by your visit to attend an important multilateral conference, during which you delivered a historic address in Cape Town on the political future of Equatorial Guinea.
We were also honoured by your presence during the South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World CupWe met again at the newly built beautiful city of Sipopo, during the African Union Summit, which was brilliantly hosted by your country. Only last month, we conferred once more in New York.
I am pleased that we are interacting so regularly Your Excellency, as we take forward the relations between our two countries.
Your Excellency Mr President,
Today’s meeting confirmed the various areas of cooperation that we want to strengthen our relations in, ranging from transport to infrastructure, mining, security and boosting trade relations to name a few.
The infrastructural developments and modernisation that is taking place currently in your country, confirms your government’s stated intention of developing Equatorial Guinea.
It conveys to all who have had the opportunity to visit Equatorial Guinea and witnessed it, a positive message of hope.
This is more impressive, given that so many countries in the world are struggling to get out of one of the worst economic recessions the world has ever seen.
We look forward to participating in this programme and to learn from your country, given our own massive infrastructure development programme that is underway.
South Africa follows with keen interest your support of peace initiatives in the region.
In that regard we wish to commend you Your Excellency, and pledge our support for all your endeavours aimed at consolidating peace in the neighbouring countries.
In this endeavour, Equatorial Guinea can always count on South Africa’s support and co-operation.
No event has signified the ever strengthening of these relations than your visit to South Africa in November-December 2003, which culminated in the signing of the General Cooperation Agreement on 1 December 2003.
Currently, the agreements concluded between our two countries are the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations and the General Cooperation Agreement.
We also have the Agreement on the Reciprocal Protection and Promotion of Investments.
It has been my wish that the ink should not have been allowed to dry on those agreements before we do something tangible with them.
We owe it to our peoples and the peoples of our region that our two countries should implement these agreements and ensure that our nations work hand in hand in promoting development, peace and prosperity for all our people.
Mr President, earlier today we conferred about the matter of the Libyan peace process and in particular the demise of former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gadaffi.
We reiterate that the only way forward for that sister country is the implementation of the African Union Roadmap.
We will support the National Transitional Council in moving forward, working under the ambit of the African Union and the United Nations. The road ahead for Libya is difficult and long, and they will need a lot of support from the entire continent.
We trust that the rest of the world will allow the people of Libya to determine their future, assisted by the African Union, League of Arab States and the Organisation of Islamic Conference amongst other fraternal organisations.
Once again My Dear Brother and Dear President, I wish to extend to you and your delegation a very warm welcome to South Africa.
This has been a highly successful visit. Our Ministers must now ensure that all outstanding work is done without delay, within the time frames agreed to this morning.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
May you please rise and drink a toast to my brother and friend President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and the people of the dynamic Republic of Equatorial Guinea!
I thank you.