South Africa and Rwanda to normalise diplomatic relations

Ministers Vincent Biruta and Naledi Pandor (photo: Jacoline Scoonees/Dirco)

8 June 2021

Dr Vincent Biruta, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Rwanda was on a working visit to South Africa on 4 June 2021. He met with his South Africa counterpart Dr Naledi Pandor.

The two Ministers met to assess the current state of bilateral relations as well as to iron out challenges that are affecting the conduct of relations between South Africa and Rwanda.

In a joint statement at the conclusion of the working visit the Ministers recalled the good bilateral relations that existed between the two countries prior to the events that led to the straining of relations in 2013.

In open and frank discussions, both Ministers confirmed their determination and commitment to normalise diplomatic relations as expressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Paul Kagame, following bilateral meetings.

The Ministers agreed that full cooperation between the two countries in a number of areas and sectors, will support increased socio-economic development.

It was agreed that mutual actions and measures would be taken to direct bilateral relations along a new path for the benefit of the governments and peoples of South Africa and Rwanda.

To this end, the Ministers agreed on a road map that will support the normalisation process, predicated on agreed timelines. Both countries must value and respect the international laws and regulations that govern relations between countries, including territorial integrity and national sovereignty.

The meeting agreed on the establishment of a Joint Mechanism led by Ministers Pandor and Biruta, to guide and manage the normalisation process. Senior Officials of both countries will serve as the Technical Committee of the Mechanism. The Mechanism will be required to engage the entire spectrum of issues affecting bilateral relations and report to the Ministers, the statement said.