Zuma commends Pohamba for sterling work

07 Nov 2013 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 07 NOV (NAMPA) - South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has commended President Hifikepunye Pohamba and the country in general for the “sterling” work the Namibian Head of State is doing as Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.
Zuma was speaking at the inaugural session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) between Namibia and South Africa (SA) in the capital on Thursday.
The BNC is an instrument aimed at promoting and strengthening Namibia and South Africa (SA)’s economic, diplomatic and cultural ties.
Bilateral co-operation between the two countries had previously been conducted through the Annual Heads of State Economic Bilateral Meeting, and the Namibia/South Africa Joint Commission on Defence and Security, which used to meet in South Africa and Namibia alternately.
“Your country has ably led the Southern African Development Community (SADC) election observation missions to both Swaziland and Madagascar. In this regard, we wish to assure you of our continued support,” Zuma said.
He told the gathering that his country successfully hosted the joint SADC-International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (SADC-ICGLR) over the past three days, as well as the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises Summit.
Zuma also said the African Standby Force, which is a key instrument of the African peace and security architecture, should remain on track.
“We look forward to its full operationalisation in the not too distant future,” he stated.
Before that happens, it is important to have a temporary response mechanism, he said, while reiterating his country's commitment to working together on these key initiatives in both regional multilateral forums and in the bilateral engagements.
The force is intended to be an international, continental Africa military force, with both a civilian and police component, under the direction of the African Union (AU).
President Zuma arrived in Windhoek on Wednesday evening for a two-day State visit.