Cape Town - US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has confirmed talks with International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor where they reaffirmed the strong ties between the two countries.
The call between the two leaders came after US ambassador Reuben Brigety had accused South Africa of arming Russia.
Blinken said he had discussions with Pandor and this involved strengthening relations on trade, health, energy and other areas between Pretoria and Washington.
“Spoke today with Minister Pandor about the vital US-South Africa relationship. We discussed further strengthening our partnership to advance shared global priorities,” said Blinken.
Before the call with Blinken, Brigety had met with Pandor on Friday in Pretoria over his accusations of arms sales to Russia.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in the meeting they had asked for evidence from Brigety on arms sales, but it was not produced.
The US State Department said the meeting between Pandor and Blinken had raised the issue of the strategic relations between the two countries.
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said Blinken and Pandor agreed on cooperation in various sectors of the economy to bolster relations.
“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor today. Secretary Blinken underscored the importance of the US-South Africa strategic partnership and reiterated cooperation on shared priorities, including health, trade, and energy,” said Miller.
Blinken had visited South Africa last year in his tour of the continent to strengthen ties.
The diplomatic fallout between South Africa and the US had threatened trade relations.
Some analysts have even suggested that the preferential trade deal, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), was in jeopardy as South Africa may be kicked out of AGOA if it did not repair its relations with Washington.