Ramaphosa explains delicate ties with America


The United States secretary of state Antony Blinken (left) with his South African foreign affairs counterpart, Dr Naledi Pandor

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, said despite ties with the United States being frosty at times, the relationship is built on mutual respect and cooperation.

The two countries have differed on a number of global issues and these differences have peaked following the war between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the renewed Israeli genocide on Palestine.

South Africa is seen as siding with Russia and Palestine while in both conflicts, the US is backing Ukraine and Israel.

America’s top envoy in South Africa last year accused the latter of supplying arms to Russia.

On Monday, Ramaphosa noted the relationship between South Africa and the United States had received a great deal of attention recently.

Strengthening ties between the two countries was among the important issues that Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, discussed with US officials during her working visit to Washington last week.

The topic also featured prominently in a meeting that Ramaphosa had in Cape Town last month with a bipartisan delegation from the US Congress.

Last week, a committee of the US House of Representatives discussed a proposed bill that would require a full review of the bilateral relationship between the United States and South Africa.

“These discussions provide an opportunity to clarify our positions and to correct misperceptions about our foreign policy,” Ramaphosa stated in his weekly letter.

He said since the advent of democracy in 1994, South Africa always sought its foreign policy to promote peace, security and development on the African continent and across the world.

Despite accusations of taking sides, the president said South Africa has taken a non-aligned position in her international relations and sought to advance an inclusive representative world order, to strengthen multilateralism and to promote the resolution of conflict through dialogue.

“It is in pursuit of this approach that South Africa has worked to strengthen relations with countries around the world,” he said.

“Our relationship with the US is characterised by mutual respect and a willingness to engage in constructive dialogue even on issues where we may differ.”

South Africa is home to more than 600 US companies. The US is the second largest destination for South African exports.

– CAJ News

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