Changes in South African politics will not affect IBSA

May 13th, 2008 - 2:47 am ICT by admin  

By Fakir Hassen
Somerset West (South Africa), May 13 (IANS) The changes in the political landscape of South Africa will not affect the work of the IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa) initiative that aims to foster South-South cooperation, South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said here Monday. Indian Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee and the Minister of External Relations of Brazil, Celso Amorim, also participated in the meeting.

“Maybe, as you can imagine, we would not have discussed (in the IBSA meeting) the changes in the ANC as such, but we did discuss that there will be a new President in South Africa and that the work of IBSA would continue,” Zuma said on the sidelines of the Fifth Meeting of the Trilateral Commission of the IBSA Dialogue Forum here.

“If we also look at the policies that emerged (from the Polokwane conference of the ANC, where current President Thabo Mbeki was ousted as ANC President by Jacob Zuma), there are no major deviations from the policies this government has pursued.

“There are no contradictions with what we are doing. Governments come and go, Presidents come and go, but the countries remain. The ANC president himself has indicated there will be no changes.

“We are continuing. There will be a Summit in India this year and we are planning a Summit in Brazil next year. So there are no deviations in what we are doing.”

Reacting to a question on whether IBSA could do anything to assist in the current election crisis in neighbouring Zimbabwe, Dlamini-Zuma also said no specifics around this had been discussed in the meeting.

“Clearly, although we did not discuss the specifics, none of us would approve of violence during the elections. We would all like to see peaceful elections.”

“As you know, there is a team that the Facilitator did send to Zimbabwe to assist in trying to ensure the elections are peaceful and in fact, in will do no one any good, if there is violence during the elections.”

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