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Johannesburg - The fraternal relations between South Africa and Niger would benefit both countries, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Wednesday.
“You will agree with me when I say that it is important that our two countries intensify relations in a variety of sectors that could create the impetus for development on our continent,” she said in a speech prepared for delivery in Pretoria.
“In our attempts at eradicating poverty and creating equal and just societies, it is important that we make rigorous efforts to ensure sustainable development and the flourishing of our bilateral relationship.”
She was speaking at a media briefing following the inaugural session of the South Africa-Niger Joint Commission of Co-operation (JCC).
Niger's foreign affairs minister Mohamed Bazoum, accompanied by a delegation of senior officials, has been on a working visit to South Africa since Monday.
The ministers identified areas including food security, geology and mining on which the two countries wished to deepen their bilateral co-operation.
During the Niger working visit, Nkoana-Mashabane and Bazoum briefed each other on political developments in their respective regions.
Nkoane-Mashabane said that although the countries were separated by a great distance, they shared many common interests.
One such point of commonality was that both were dry countries.
“Water is our lifeline but we also need to discuss the impact of climate change on fragile eco-systems such as ours.
“...The report-back session indicated that South Africa and Niger have now established the necessary foundation for increased, accelerated and deepened bilateral co-operation programmes.”
She said the JCC had laid the foundations for achieving the objectives identified and a framework for co-operation in the future.