Sahrawi-South African joint statement stresses the strategic partnership between the two countries

Pretoria (South Africa), October 19, 2022 (SPS) - A joint statement was issued during the state visit that leads the President of the Republic, the Secretary-General of the Polisario Front, Mr. Brahim Ghali, to the Republic of South Africa, stressing the strategic partnership between the two countries in various fields.

The joint statement indicated that, at the invitation of President Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of the Sahrawi Republic and Secretary General of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, led a three-day state visit to South Africa, during which he met with President Ramaphosa and discussed issues of common interest.

“During their official talks, the two heads of state reviewed many issues of common concern at the bilateral, continental and international levels. The two presidents also expressed their satisfaction with the level of cooperation, friendship and solidarity achieved during the two countries' joint struggle against apartheid, colonialism and foreign occupation” mentioned the statement.

The joint statement also highlighted that “the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, as Member States of the African Union and in recognition of the inalienable rights of the Sahrawi people to self-determination and freedom, and with reference to the Memorandum of Understanding between the two Governments on Diplomatic Consultations signed on June 21, 2013, affirm their commitment to consolidating and strengthening the bonds of friendship and mutual trust and shared values ​​of freedom, democracy, justice and solidarity”.

“The two heads of state encouraged the expansion of technical missions and institutional capacity building projects to include the fields of higher education, training, science and technology, arts and culture, youth and women capacity development, and diplomatic training, emphasizing in particular the importance of empowering youth and women” added the joint statement.

The two heads of state also encouraged officials in the two ministries of foreign affairs to coordinate efforts in these areas in order to achieve the desired goals and facilitate their implementation.

The joint statement stressed the need for the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and the Kingdom of Morocco, as member states of the African Union, to resume dialogue to overcome the current political impasse. This would create the conditions for a just and lasting solution to the conflict in line with the relevant decisions and resolutions of the African Union and the United Nations and the objectives and principles of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, as well as the decisions of the 14th Special Session of the African Union Conference on Silencing the Guns in Africa.

The two presidents emphasized the joint responsibility of the African Union and the United Nations as sponsors of the 1991 UN settlement plan, which paved the way for a peaceful solution after 16 years of war between the two parties.

The two Heads of State expressed their hope that Mr. Staffan de Mistura, Personal Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Western Sahara, would prioritize the resumption of the political process to support the two parties, namely the Kingdom of Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, through negotiations for a free and fair referendum to determine the fate of the people of Western Sahara.

The joint statement called on the United Nations Security Council to ensure that the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) carries out its primary mission, which was established in order to facilitate the holding of a referendum in Western Sahara and enable its people to have their right to self-determination. It also added that MINURSO should be given a mandate to monitor, protect and report on human rights and the protection of natural resources from illegal looting.

The two Presidents concluded the consultations by affirming their determination to further develop bilateral relations and deepen coordination of external action at the regional and international levels.

The President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic expressed his government and people's sincere appreciation to the government and people of the Republic of South Africa for their unwavering support for the just cause of the Sahrawi people, as well as South Africa's valuable interventions to support the struggle of the Sahrawis in international forums, especially the Southern African Development Community, the African Union and the United Nations.

President Brahim Ghali expressed his gratitude to President Ramaphosa for the invitation to visit South Africa and for the generous hospitality they received.