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Abdelkader Messahel, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Algerian People’s Democratic Republic on a working visit to South Africa on 29 August 2018, was received by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and after the meetings held, they issued a joint statement reaffirming the solidarity and support of both countries to the people of Western Sahara and to the people of Palestine in their struggles for independence and sovereignty.

The two ministers recalled the historical and fraternal ties between South Africa and Algeria, recognizing that this connection was cemented during the period of the liberation struggle against colonialism and apartheid when Algeria supported and trained cadres of the liberation movement including the ex- President Nelson Mandela.

The meeting took place in the year of Nelson Mandela’s Centennial celebrations.

During their extensive exchange of views on bilateral, continental and international issues, the ministers reaffirmed their countries position on Western Sahara, namely the realization of the right of self-determination of the Saharawi people, the decolonization of Western Sahara and the rapid resolution of the conflict in the context of international legality.

The two ministers expressed their full support and confidence in the efforts of the African Union (AU) and its special envoy for Western Sahara, former President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique and their commitment to a speedy implementation of the decision taken at the 30th Summit (Assembly / AU / DEC. 677 (XXX) inviting the two Member States, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic to initiate direct negotiations in order to put an end to this conflict.

The Ministers emphasized that with the admission to the AU, the Kingdom of Morocco has an obligation to respect the principles and objectives enshrined in the AU’s constituent act, especially the need to respect the colonial frontiers that existed at the time of the withdrawal from Spain.

The representatives of Algeria and South Africa also expressed their full support and confidence in the efforts of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Western Sahara, Horst Kohler, to bring the Polisario Front and the Kingdom of Morocco to the negotiating table and to resume negotiations in good faith and without preconditions and to mobilize the international community to implement all United Nations resolutions for Western Sahara.

In the same communiqué the ministers expressed their concern about the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and reaffirmed their support for Palestine and the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state with (El-qods) (East Jerusalem ) as capital.