Bushiri: Dirco says SA and Malawi enjoy cordial relations

17 November 2020 - 18:31 By TimesLIVE
Dirco said SA remained committed to working with the government of Malawi to ensure mutually beneficial relations. File photo.
Dirco said SA remained committed to working with the government of Malawi to ensure mutually beneficial relations. File photo.
Image: 123RF/TRAVNIKOV STUDIO

The delayed departure of Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera's aircraft was unfortunate and unavoidable but was occasioned by important security, logistical and procedural processes.

That's according to the department of international relations and co-operation, which said it was important to note that at no point did South African officials unduly compromise normal diplomatic courtesies extended to visiting presidential delegations.

“These processes created some concerns and misunderstanding within the Malawian delegation. These concerns have been addressed,” Dirco spokesperson Clayton Monyela said on Tuesday.

He said matters related to events at the Waterkloof Air Force base would be handled and communicated through diplomatic channels. Monyela said SA remained committed to working with the government of Malawi to ensure mutually beneficial relations.

“As fellow Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states, the two countries are committed to maintaining our region as a zone committed to the rule of law, peace and development. All the SADC protocols signed and ratified by member states are critical in this context,” he said.

Monyela said SA and Malawi enjoyed cordial relations conducted at the highest level, as evidenced by Chakwera's recent official working visit. Monyela described Chakwera's visit as successful and having allowed President Cyril Ramaphosa and his counterpart to review the status of bilateral ties.

“The two heads of state expressed satisfaction with the current state of bilateral co-operation as conducted within the framework of the Joint Permanent Commission for Co-operation.

“They reiterated their commitment to improving and strengthening political and economic relations by enhancing co-operation between the business communities of the two countries as well as increasing trade and investment,” said Monyela.

Malawian media reported on Monday that the delay in the departure of Chakwera's aircraft by about seven hours at Waterkloof was caused by SA's “inexplicable refusal” to allow Chakwera's advance party to board the presidential jet.

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