President of Republic begins a working visit to South Africa

Chahid El Hafed, January 06, 2017 (SPS)- The President of the Republic , Secretary General of the Frente POLISARIO, Brahim Gali, has started Friday a three-day working visit to South Africa at the invitation of his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma.

The Head of State is accompanied by Foreign Minister Mohamed Salem Uld Salek, Minister of Cooperation Bulahi Sid, Minister of State for Security and Documentation, Brahim Ahmed Mahmud and the SG of the National Union of Saharawi Women, Fatma El Mehdi.

" Brahim Gali's visit to South Africa is important, it is also a strong signal of the unwavering support of Pretoria for the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination," and aims to "further strengthen relations between the two countries" , South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said in a statement.

"South Africa maintains its principled position in support of the right of the Saharawis to self-determination in accordance with the Constitutive Act of the African Union and the Charter of the United Nations," stated South Africa's chief of diplomacy.

Nkoana-Mashabane, also recalled that South Africa had decided in September 2004 to recognize SADR "when Morocco has made clear its refusal to organize a self-determination referendum in Western Sahara in violation of UN Security Council resolution 1495 2003 ".

He also noted that South Africa shows "great concern" for the continued suffering of the Saharawi people.

South Africa has also expressed "concern" about the lack of progress towards a settlement of the conflict in Western Sahara, in accordance with international law.

South Africa also supports the call of the African Union (AU) in the UN General Assembly "to set a date" for the organization of the self-determination referendum.

In this context, Pretoria "will continue to support the efforts of the Special Envoy of the AU in Western Sahara, former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano towards finding a just and lasting solution that guarantees the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination, "recalled Ms. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

"Africa has a moral and political responsibility to contribute to the search for solutions to conflicts on the continent," said South African Minister .SPS