Inaugural Bi-National Commission deepens South Africa, Lesotho ties

South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho have held frank and fruitful bilateral discussions on wide ranging issues during the Inaugural Session of the South Africa – Lesotho Bi-National Commission (BNC).

This according to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who hosted his counterpart, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho Ntsokoane Matekane and that country’s delegation for the BNC in Pretoria on Thursday.

President Ramaphosa described the BNC as a “great opportunity to take stock of our bilateral relations as well as cooperation in a number of fields”.

“We have now come to the end of our inaugural bi-national where we’ve held outstanding deliberations between our two countries. Deliberations that have been frank and direct and in many ways also very fruitful. We’ve covered a lot of ground.

“We remain forever grateful for the strong ties that exist between our countries and peoples. The work we have just completed is the continuation of our endeavours towards the realisation of our shared aspirations,” President Ramaphosa said.

The BNC was attended by Ministers and senior government officials from both countries who – preceding Thursday’s summit – discussed matters including water, energy, crime, environmental issues, trade and economic challenges affecting both countries.

“The comprehensive report that was presented by our respective Ministers captures the real essence and the state of our bilateral cooperation in detail and this in itself speaks of the healthy relationship between the two countries.

“A relationship that continues to broaden and deepens…encompassing a whole number of new areas as the world continues to develop,” President Ramaphosa said.

He impressed upon officials and Ministers at the BNC the importance of ensuring that existing agreements entered into between the two governments are implemented.

“We emerge from this Inaugural BNC with renewed energy and vigour for the task of building our economies and developing our two nations. We should use this mechanism of the Bi-National Commission…to enhance and consolidate the implementation of existing agreements to ensure that those agreements are not just put on the shelf and…forever not to be seen again.

“We want the agreements that we have entered into to be live agreements and to be agreements that are fully and properly implemented,” he said.

Concluding his remarks, President Ramaphosa reflected on the mutual future that the two nations have.

“Just as our two countries share common histories, so too do we share a common future.

“So we are bound together to work together to build a sustainable and a prosperous as well secure future for all the people of South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho,” President Ramaphosa said. –

Source: South African Government News Agency

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