Annual Meeting of the France/ South Africa Political Discussion Forum (Pretoria, November 19th-20th)
The Secretary General of the Department of Foreign and European Affairs, Pierre Sellal, led the French delegation at the France/ South Africa Political Discussion Forum of which the annual meeting was held on Novembers 19th and 20th in Pretoria. He was received by his South African counterpart, Ayanda Ntsaluba, Director General of DICO.
Established in 1997, this Forum is the principal steering instance for the strategic partnership between France and South Africa. The annual meeting reviewed bilateral relations, on all levels, and indentified ways of strengthening these.
The meeting also pursued in-depth discussion on a host of subjects of common interest: initiatives likely to contribute to the settlement of crises in Africa; implementation of the new orientations of France’s African policy, as set out by President Sarkozy in his speech in Cape Town, at the end of February 2008; relations between the European Union and South Africa; situation in the Near and Middle East including the Iranian nuclear issue; international governance reform as well as the major current international issues.
In the light of the upcoming Copenhagen conference, the combat against climate changes was obviously a priority issue. The French delegation informed South Africa, which has committed itself resolutely to sustainable development, of the joint position elaborated by Brazil and France, as revealed by Presidents Sarkozy and Lula, on November 14th this year. The French delegation encouraged South Africa to make a similar ambitious contribution at Copenhagen.