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Mon Feb 02 00:45:58 SAST 2015

Zuma congratulates Australia's Abbott on PM election

Sapa | 10 September, 2013 10:23
Australia's conservative leader Tony Abbott arrives to the stage to claim victory at an election night function in Sydney September 7, 2013. Abbott swept into office in national elections on Saturday as voters punished the outgoing Labor government for six years of turbulent rule and for failing to maximise the benefits of a now fading mining boom.
Image by: POOL / REUTERS

President Jacob Zuma has congratulated Tony Abbott on his election as prime minister-elect of Australia, the international relations department said on Tuesday.

"President Zuma wished Mr Abbott well in his new position, and reconfirmed his appreciation of the warm and close relations that exist between South Africa and Australia," spokesman Clayson Monyela said in a statement.

News agency Agence France-Presse reported that Abbott was elected the country's next leader on Saturday.

Zuma said the South African government looked forward to strengthening political and economic ties with Australia under its new government.

"In addition, President Zuma wished Mr Abbott well with the international leadership role that Australia will take in the coming months...," Monyela said.

This included its role as chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation, president of the United Nations Security Council, and its role in the G20 summit next year.

Zuma assured Abbott of South Africa's support in these forums.

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